Utility Tampering

Utility tampering cases will be handled by the Village Police Department. Please refer to Village Ordinance 387-1 and state statute 941.36 Fraudulent Tapping of Electric Wires or Gas or Water Meters or Pipes. SS 941.36 is adopted as reference and states:

(1) Whoever, without permission and for the purpose of obtaining electrical current, gas or water with intent to defraud any vendor of electricity, gas or water by doing any of the following, is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor:

(a) Connects or causes to be connected by wire or any other device with the wire, cables or conductors of any such vendor.

(b) Connects or disconnects the meters, pipes or conduits of the vendor or in any other manner tampers or interferes with the meters, pipes or conduits, or connects with the meters, pipes or conduits by pipes, conduits or other instruments.

(2) The existence of any of the conditions with reference to meters, pipes, conduits or attachments, described in this section, is presumptive evidence that the person to whom gas, electricity or water is at the time being furnished by or through the meters, pipes, conduits or attachments has, with intent to defraud, created or caused to be created the conditions. The presumption does not apply to any person furnished with gas, electricity or water for less than 31 days or until there has been at least one meter reading.


Backbilling Process for Tampering Cases:

Billing shall follow PSC regulations 196.635(2), two year limitation on back bills does not apply when the utility is able to confirm meter tampering/theft of electric services. This means that in cases of confirmed theft of electricity, the utility could issue a back bill charging for all service that has been consumed by that customer but not billed, going back as long as that customer was receiving free or disconnected service due to his/her act of theft.

The estimate will be base on historical consumption by season, number of days in the period in question, and any other pertinent factors such as a change in household size. The estimate should be calculated using a reasonably precise method. The utility would, however, reconnect with payment, even if the customer has a history of tampering.

Bills issued for utility service that was previously unbilled because of meter diversion or tampering with the proper metering of the account may include a late payment charge when issued. The late payment charge may be applied from the estimated date that the diversion or tampering began (Wis. Admin. Code SS. PSC 113.0406(1)(i)(9).