Jamaica has a huge problem with people stealing electricity which has widely gone unpunished but it has led to a St Andrew woman being arrested for doing this on a major scale.
The Jamaica Public Service Company reported that the police, working with a team from the power company, arrested the woman at her home, where a sophisticated meter bypass was found serving a swimming pool, air-conditioning units, a water heater, and an electric stove.
A direct connection was also found at a business place, but those responsible eluded the police and avoided arrest. The operations came amid increasing tips about electricity theft from customers who want to see this crime brought under control. In recent months, hundreds of JPS customers have expressed concerns about significant increases in their electricity bills.
The power company said that 20 percent of its losses are passed on to its customers. Since January, 33 people have been arrested for electricity theft. The utility company loses approximately US$70 million (J$9 billion) annually to electricity theft, but that figure does not capture the full scale of the haemorrhage as it is limited to the cost of the fuel used to produce electricity.