WILKES-BARRE — City police allege a woman and her husband exposed an unprotected 220-volt line they spliced into a meter box to steal electricity for their residence on Carbon Lane.
Christine Brown, 57, was arraigned Tuesday morning by District Judge Michael Dotzel in Wilkes-Barre Township on charges of theft, criminal mischief and risking a catastrophe. She was released on $2,500 unsecured bail.
Brown’s husband, Joseph, 59, was arrested last week on similar charges. He remained jailed Tuesday at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $2,500 bail.
An unidentified man who accompanied Christine Brown to the arraignment used his jacket in an attempt to shield a reporter from taking her picture.
According to the criminal complaints:
PPL Electric Utilities received an anonymous tip in October that the residents of 67 Carbon Lane were illegally receiving electricity. PPL crews noticed the front porch light was turned on an an air conditioning unit was running.
The residence had no electrical service for several years and the meter had been removed by PPL, the complaint says.
PPL turned off the electrical power from the main line to the residence that simultaneously turned off the front porch light and air conditioner, according to the complaint.
Police allege in the complaint an exposed and unprotected 220-volt line ran across the ground to the residence from a meter in a nearby garage, the complaint says.
Police said PPL determined $3,800 worth of electricity was pilfered, including $238 in damages to a meter box, according to the complaint.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled on Nov. 21 before District Judge Martin Kane in Wilkes-Barre.