Power line, meet hook
Having the power shut off in your home due to lack of payments can really motivate you to pay your bills—or perhaps to begin siphoning electricity with a meat hook.
A recent report from Reuters describes a middle-aged man in Germany who has been stealing electricity from a high-voltage overhead transmission line using a run-of-the-mill meat hook. After getting cut off by the power company for not paying his bills, the energy thief decided he would acquire the necessary power on his own; he attached a meat hook to the end of a long cable, and hurled the hook onto an overhead power line 150 meters from his house. By routing some of the electricity to his meter box, the man powered his home illegally for an entire month before anyone noticed.
Now before you run off to Home Depot to buy cable and meat hooks (do they sell meat hooks at Home Depot?), you should be aware that siphoning electricity is not only illegal, it’s also insanely dangerous. A report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation noted the recent death of a man who was electrocuted from trying to siphon off power for an illegal drug lab. And utility employee Friedrich-Wilhelm Lach told Reuters he considers this act of siphoning an “incredibly dangerous and utterly stupid” activity.
The German man was ultimately caught during a routine check of the overhead transmission line by an employee of the utility company, although most people stealing power are generally caught through analysis of usage patterns.
According to Reuters, Lach warned copycats not to try their own siphoning experiments, adding: “It will kill you.”
– by Nick Zautra
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Image: Flickr / St_A_Sh