4933.18 Tampering with utility equipment.

(A) In a prosecution for a theft offense, as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, that involves alleged tampering with a gas, electric, steam, or water meter, conduit, or attachment of a utility that has been disconnected by the utility, proof that a meter, conduit, or attachment of a utility has been tampered with is prima-facie evidence that the person who is obligated to pay for the service rendered through the meter, conduit, or attachment and is in possession or control of the meter, conduit, or attachment at the time the tampering occurred has caused the tampering with intent to commit a theft offense.

In a prosecution for a theft offense, as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, that involves the alleged reconnection of a gas, electric, steam, or water meter, conduit, or attachment of a utility that has been disconnected by the utility, proof that a meter, conduit, or attachment disconnected by a utility has been reconnected without the consent of the utility is prima-facie evidence that the person in possession or control of the meter, conduit, or attachment at the time of the reconnection has reconnected the meter, conduit, or attachment with intent to commit a theft offense.

(B) As used in this section:

(1) "Utility" means any electric light company, gas company, natural gas company, pipe-line company, water-works company, or heating or cooling company, as defined by division (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), or (H) of section 4905.03 of the Revised Code, its lessees, trustees, or receivers, or any similar utility owned or operated by a political subdivision.

(2) "Tamper" means to interfere with, damage, or by-pass a utility meter, conduit, or attachment with the intent to impede the correct registration of a meter or the proper functions of a conduit or attachment so as to reduce the amount of utility service that is registered on the meter.

Cite as R.C. § 4933.18

History. Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.43, SB 162, §1, eff. 9/13/2010.

Effective Date: 07-01-1996