WJTV News Channel 12 - Christiansburg man guilty of electricity theft, property damage

Christiansburg man guilty of electricity theft, property damage

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ROANOKE (WSLS) – A Christiansburg man was convicted of two felonies after he fraudulently obtained services from Appalachian Power and damaged a facility used to furnish electricity.

The power company says Kevin Woolwine, 42, was using electricity at his home at East Park Village (formerly Cheadles Trailer Park) in Christiansburg without setting up an account to be billed for service.

The company also says the property manager and his wife observed Woolwine on numerous occasions at the Appalachian Power meter box “messing with the wires” with an object in his hand, and they noted that there was always power at the lot.

Appalachian Power says similar thefts are costing the company and its customers millions of dollars.

An Appalachian Power worker was called to the location on at least four occasions and found power had been illegally restored to Woolwine’s lot. Woolwine stole approximately $300 in electricity. Appalachian Power also lost an additional $500 in missing or damaged equipment and labor costs.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt said Woolwine’s actions were illegal and dangerous. Touching a power line can burn or even kill a person.

Appalachian Power says electricity theft is a real problem. They urge anyone who sees someone or something suspicious related to power lines to call their Security Operations Center at 1-866-747-5845.

Woolwine will be sentenced on the two felony convictions on September 23. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for Obtaining Utility Service by Fraud, Scheme or Device conviction and five years for Damaging a Facility Used to Furnish Electricity charge.

Woolwine remains in jail pending his sentencing.

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