Break the seal, face the consequence

Stealing electricity is a serious safety concern for the public.

It's illegal, raises cost of electricity for all customers, and it can lead to serious injury or death from electrical shock, fires and explosions according to AEP.

"It's very dangerous and we strongly discourage customers from doing it," said AEP Spokesperson Frank Espinoza.

But some valley residents continue taking the risk so shave off money from their electric bills.

A resistor, a tiny device is being inserted into smart meters. There was a recent arrest in La Feria of a man accused of selling the devices to customers claiming he was with an electric company.

In Harlingen, amother person was arrested who allegedly did it themselves.

AEP says the person held responsible, whether they took part or not, is the person whose name is on the electric bill.

The electric resistors that are being used after the seal is broken are purchased online, but Espinoza says these smart meters alert the company quickly when they've been tampered with.

Local police departments are working with the electric provider to take swift action and make arrests.

Espinoza says, if your seal is broken you'll have a lot of explaining to do all to save some cash.