German steals electricity with meat hook

Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:14pm EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - German police are investigating a man for theft after he siphoned electricity off a high-voltage overhead transmission line for one month with the help of an ordinary meat hook, authorities said Tuesday.

The 36-year old man from Sibbesse in Lower Saxony concocted the plan to steal electricity after the power company cut him off for failure to pay his bills, police said.

The man attached a cable to the meat hook and tossed it onto an overhead power line. He then drew power from the transmission line to his home, located about 150 metres away.

"I've never seen anything like this in my 34-year-career," said Friedrich-Wilhelm Lach, chief executive of regional utility Ueberlandwerke Leinetal GmbH, told Reuters. "It's incredibly dangerous and utterly stupid."

An employee of the utility noticed the meat hook during a routine check. Lach said the man was lucky he is still alive and warned copycats not to try it: "It will kill you," he said.

(Reporting by Christopher Lawton; editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>Empty meat hooks in a Meat Market in London February 28, 2001. REUTERS/Ian Waldie</p>