At least two suspected criminals were on 20 June apprehended and flogged while attempting to steal electrical power supply meters installed on a community light pole in the Township of Gardnersville.
An affected resident of the area Mr. Jeff Martin reveals that the suspects were apprehended while attempting to remove meters intended to provide electricity to homes under a heavy downpour.
According to him, they bought their meters from the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) for USD$65.00 and also paid some unspecified amount for installation by the LEC.
He claims that he lost two meters placed on the light pole several months ago, prompting he and others to organize themselves to keep watch of their light pole to prevent a similar occurrence of the incident.
He indicates that while keeping guard during the night, dogs became to bark in the community and they immediately move in the direction where the dogs were barking.
They saw two alleged criminals on the light pole trying to disconnect meters belonging to residents, he says.
In the process, he says the alleged thieves were tracked down and subsequently flogged by community members for their alleged criminal action.
He notes that the meter thieves had earlier removed two other power supply meters from another light pole in the community while the people were asleep.
During the flogging, he continues, the thieves confessed to stealing two meters which they allegedly kept in the bush before attempting to remove additional ones before being caught.
He adds that the thieves later took the community people to where the stolen power meters were kept, after which residents retrieved the items. He says the two suspected thieves were turned over to the LPRC police depot for investigation and subsequent prosecution.
He attributes the new wave of meters theft around Monrovia and its environs to the size of the product, claiming that they are so small that any criminal can easily remove them without any constraint.
Prior to the civil conflict in Liberia, electrical power supply meters were very large, making it difficult to be removed by thieves. Meanwhile, community residents are calling on the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Liberia Electricity Corporation to design measures that would help in the fight of meters theft which is becoming the way of life by unscrupulous criminals.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Edited by Winston W. Parley