Utility theft raising costs in Mesa; offenders should be reported

Posted: Updated:
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

MESA, Ariz. – Residents in Mesa are being urged to be vigilant about possible utility theft.

Officials say utility theft can cause property damage and hazardous conditions that could possibly harm you and your family. It also puts the city’s water supply in danger.

Utility theft is considered the manipulating or bypassing of water, natural gas and electric meters in order for individuals to avoid paying for the services.

This kind of theft is more common than most people think and officials say it causes operating costs to increase for the city’s Water and Energy Resources departments.

“When utilities are unlawfully consumed, the reality is that honest, paying customers are the ones who suffer,” Field Utility Superintendent Lori Timbrook said. “Just as shoplifters drive up the price of merchandise in the stores, those who tamper with the meters to get ‘free’ utilities drive up costs for everyone.”

Utility thieves are faced with the threat of serious injury or death as a result of a fire, explosion or electrocution.

Anyone who wishes to report utility theft or suspicious activity can remain anonymous and call 480-644-2221 or go to http://www.mesaaz.gov/water/reporttheft.aspx.