BLANCHESTER — A Blanchester couple has been charged with stealing electricity from the village.
Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said that on Friday, Sept. 7, employees of the Blanchester Board of Public Affairs Electric Department discovered that electricity was being stolen at 509 S. Wright St. The Electric Department reported that they had turned off electricity to the house on Aug. 30 and had removed the electric meter due to past-due bills.
“On Friday, Sept. 7, an Electric Department employee in the neighborhood noticed that the meter box at the residence had been tampered with,” said Reinbolt. “Upon further inspection, he observed that two heavy-gauge wires had been used to bypass the meter hook up so that un-metered electric could run to the house. Not only is this a very dangerous undertaking, it causes a high risk of fire.”
Reinbolt said an investigation was opened and identified the residents at 509 S. Wright St. as Danielle Short, 37, and C. Martin Short, 47.
“On Wednesday, Sept. 19, an anonymous caller reported that there were two children residing in the home at 509 S. Wright St. and that there was no electric, water or sewer service at the house,” said Reinbolt.
He said that on Tuesday morning, “Blanchester police officers went to the residence and spoke to both Danielle and Martin Short. It was found that the family was utilizing a car battery for electricity and had plenty of bottled water in the house.
“Good-hearted neighbors were permitting the children in the home to use their restroom facilities,” Reinbolt added.
Both Danielle and C. Martin Short were arrested and charged with theft of services (electric), Reinbolt said.
“Both were taken to the Clinton County Jail and will answer the charges in the Clinton County Municipal Court,” he said. “One of the children was in school, and one child was at home. Arrangements were made for him to stay with a relative.
“Clinton County Children Services was notified of the situation.”