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      RS 14:67.6     

  

§67.6.  Theft of utility service; inference of commission of theft; penalties

A.  Theft of utility service is the misappropriation, taking, or use of any electricity, gas, water, or telecommunications which belongs to another, is held for sale by another, or is being distributed by another, without the consent of the owner, seller, or distributor or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.  A taking, misappropriation, or use includes the diversion by any means or device of any quantity of electricity, gas, water, or telecommunications from the wires, cables, pipes, mains, or other means of transmission of such person, or by directly or indirectly preventing a metering device from properly registering the quantity of electricity, gas, water, or telecommunications actually used, consumed, or transmitted.  

B.  The trier of fact may infer that there was a misappropriation, taking, or using without the consent of the owner, seller, or distributor, or that there was fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations when:

(1)  There is on or about any wire, cable, pipe, main, or meter, or the equipment to which said wire, cable, pipe, main, or meter is affixed or attached, any device or any other means resulting in the diversion of electricity, gas, water, or telecommunications, or any device or any other means resulting in the prevention of the proper action or accurate registration of the meter or meters used to measure the quantity of electricity, gas, water, or telecommunications actually used, consumed, or transmitted, or interfering with the proper action or accurate registration of such meter or meters;

(2)  The person charged had custody or control of the room, structure, or place where such device, other means, or such wire, cable, pipe, main, meter, or equipment affixed or attached thereto was located; and

(3)  The person charged benefited from the misappropriation of such utility service; or

(4)  The person charged intentionally supplied false information in applying for such utility service.  

C.(1)  On a first conviction, the offender shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.  

(2)  On a second or subsequent conviction, regardless of whether the second or subsequent offense occurred before or after an earlier conviction, the offender shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than three thousand dollars or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than two years, or both.  

D.  The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the attachment on the customer's side of the customer's main electric disconnect of any device which lowers the quantity of utilities actually used and does not divert such utilities or prevent their proper registration.  

Added by Acts 1977, No. 308, §1.  Amended by Acts 1981, No. 108, §1; Acts 1986, No. 620, §1; Acts 1986, No. 261, §1; Acts 1987, No. 251, §1.  



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