Landlord rigs electricity meter and rips tenants off

The suspect allegedly collected normal electricity fees from his tenants and paid much less to the electricity company who read from a rigged meter.

A man has been detained for allegedly stealing electricity worth over 7,000 yuan (US$1,020), police said on Friday.

The suspect, surnamed Xiao, was the landlord of a house on Dinghai Road, Yangpu District.

He rented the house to 10 people, but the electricity company found out at the end of July that for months the electricity cost of the house was under 100 yuan, which was very unusual.

The district police started their investigation after receiving a report from the company.

Tenants told police that they paid about 1,000 yuan in total to Xiao every month but had never seen the electricity bills.

Police found six private meters in each of the rooms of the tenants, but none was connected to the main meter of the house from which the electricity company is supposed to read.

Yangpu police

The six private electricity meters found in the house.

The main meter reflects electricity used in the house's public areas, such as the aisles and toilets, police said.

Xiao was soon summoned by police and has allegedly confessed about the theft.

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