Man Tampers With PECO Meters to Cut Costs for Customers

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    A Philadelphia man has admitted to tampering with utility meters in the city and suburbs, reducing the monthly electrical bills for more than two dozen PECO customers.

    Marcelino Cuadra, 47, pleaded guilty Monday in Montgomery County Court to corrupt organizations and theft of services.

    Prosecutors said that from December 2009 to October 2012, Cuadra was paid to manipulate meters of homeowners and business owners in Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, Delaware and Philadelphia counties.

    The loss to PECO is nearly $350,000.

    Authorities say Cuadra was not a former PECO employee or licensed electrician and had no documented training to work on utility meters.

    "Tampering with a meter or stealing energy of any kind is not just illegal, it's a very dangerous situation," said PECO spokesman Ben Armstrong. "Not just for those that are performing the illegal act but also for the neighbors in or around that area."

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