Sophisticated Electricity Theft Discovered in Smokeyvale, St. Andrew
– Crews Also Remove Over 1,455 Pounds of Illegal Connections in Kgn
Last weekend, JPS crews carrying out routine meter investigations discovered a sophisticated device used to commit electricity theft. The device was found buried in the backwall of a large 5 bedroom house in Smokeyvale St. Andrew, while the meter serving the premises showed clear signs of tampering.
The stolen power was being used to power a jacuzzi, 2 air conditioning units, 4 televisions, 1 deep freezer, a water cooler, a 40 gallon water heater, clothes dryer, dishwasher and a variety of other appliances. The customer has been backbilled at over $4.5m.
JPS teams were able to discover the device, based on new advanced detection equipment acquired by the Company.
Meanwhile, teams conducting operations earlier this week, in communities off Spanish Town Road and environs, removed 1,455 pounds of illegal connections. The wires were taken from a number of areas including Riverton City, Callaloo Mews and the Ferry District.
Other communities from which teams have also recently removed hundreds of illegal connections include: Goodwin Park off South Camp Road, Rae Town in the Downtown area, Harbour Heights and sections of Bull Bay in St. Andrew.
The Company is also using other anti-theft methods, including transformer metering and community outreach through its Community Renewal arm. Through this programme, the company in collaboration with community leadership, has been able to work in socio-economically challenged areas through education, moral suasion and practical assistance to convert non-paying users to legitimate customers.
“Electricity theft is a significant challenge, and the data from around the world shows that it requires the combined efforts of the government, the utility and other supporting agencies to be adequately addressed. We will continue to ramp up our strategies to reduce the incidents of theft, while we also embrace and esteem the collaboration of our partners. In particular, we would welcome the establishment of a utility theft unit, within the Jamaica Constabulary Force, to effectively help quash this behaviour,” stressed JPS Senior Vice President, Customer Services, Ramsay McDonald.
The Company continues to appeal to persons who are not legal customers, to make contact with JPS by calling 888-CALLJPS or via its social media platforms @myjpsonline for more information on regularizing their service.