Police say electrician stole power at home

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A Craig electrician is being charged with three misdemeanor counts of utility theft after he allegedly stole electricity to his house and damaged a utility box owned by Yampa Valley Electric Association.

The company is saying that costs associated with the theft total $880, about half of which are related to the cost of stolen electricity.

Robert Mack, 29, is facing charges of theft, criminal mischief and tampering with a utility meter at his residence, 548 Victory View Drive, in Western Knolls, said Investigator K.C. Hume with the Moffat County Sheriff's Office. Mack is a self-described electrician and a laborer, according to the police report.

"The utility box was made to look like it was legitimate, but it didn't fool Yampa Valley Electric," Hume said.

Sheriffs' deputies took their first report of stolen utilities from the electric company Jan. 21.

At that time, electric company workers reportedly changed back the electricity to charge Mack.

Electric company officials reported that the utility box again was tampered with a few days later, on Jan. 24.

Hume said the sheriff's office has handled three cases of utility theft in the past year.

Stealing electricity is the most common form of utility theft, Hume said.

But the timing of the thefts don't necessarily correspond with drastic weather patterns.

"There's no connection between theft and the time of year or environmental conditions," Hume said.

Mack received a summons for the alleged incidents, but he is being held in the Moffat County jail on unrelated charges.

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