Austine Ekhigiator, a 33-year old man, has been arrested in Edo State.
He has now been handed over to the operatives of the Edo State Police Command for allegedly stealing four prepaid meters in Azagba community of Uhumwode Local Government Area of the state.
The suspect, who resides at No 4 Erediauwa Street, Sapele Road, Benin City, was nabbed by some vigilant members of the community and handed over to police officers attached to the Egba Divisional Police Headquarters.
Ekhigiator, and three other accomplices now at large, were alleged to have stolen the meters installed on electric poles in the area.
Confirming the arrest, the Chief Security Officer of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Gilbert Nweke, said the suspect was not a member of staff of the BEDC.
“The suspect worked with the contractor engaged by the Federal Government to install its National Mass Metering Programme in Edo. He ran out of luck and he was apprehended. They sent a message to us and we came. He has confessed to committing the illegal acts. So, we took him and handed him over to the police. His accomplices who are on the run will be tracked.
“We want to appeal to the public to be very alert when people come around that they want to repair their meters, usually they end up stealing the meters,” Nweke said.
Mrs Gladys Evbodaghe, a victim of such theft said the suspect came to her house with two other men to repair her meter unknown to her that they had removed the meter from the box.
“The suspects and his accomplices always meet meter owners that they wanted to correct error on the meters pretending to be BEDC staff.
“They will climb the pole and remove the meter, put in their bag under the guise that they are taking them for repairs.
“I reported the matter at the Egba police station. Some members of Egba community arrested one of the suspects that stole my meter and they handed him over to the police. I want my meter back because I do not want estimated billing,” said the victim.