A Stupid Way to Get Electricity for Free: Meat Hook + Power Line

By Eliza Strickland | April 29, 2010 3:34 pm

power line
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

Related Content:
Discoblog: Incompetent Xbox Thief Busted Via Online Gaming
Discoblog: A New Facebook Game: Taunting the Cops When They Can’t Catch You
Discoblog: iPhone Thievery 101: Don’t Send Pics of Yourself to the Rightful Owner
Discoblog: Stole a Piece of the Internets? Prepare to Be Arrested.

Image: Flickr / St_A_Sh

MORE ABOUT: crime, electricity, energy, theft
  • alexz

    good story where can one get a meat hook these days?

  • http://www.pizzaexpress-vouchers.com Pizza Express Vouchers

    I feel this is one of the so much important information for me. And i’m happy reading your article. But wanna observation on few basic things, The website taste is wonderful, the articles is actually excellent : D. Excellent process, cheers

  • http://www.allaspectsuk.co.uk/location/west-midlands/wolverhampton/electrician.asp Roofing Problems

    This is a
    nice post.I like this one.This is an amazing.The written skill is so good.I
    appreciate to this content.You are doing a great job.I am very impressed to
    this blog.Keep sharing.I will keep share in future.

  • Aquaflash007

    They should not be charging the price they do for electricity, surely if it is illegal not to have electricity then surely private enterprise should not dictate that people cannot afford it.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Discoblog

Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »