Natural gas thefts are up -- and Columbia Gas needs your help

Reported by Mika Highsmith email
Posted by Kate Oatis email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - Natural gas thefts are up 55 percent from last year, and Columbia Gas is hoping to put a stop to it. They've created an energy theft hotline, and they need your help.

Had there been a hotline, maybe Angela Richardson wouldn't have had to live in her new home without gas for a week. (See attached story.)

In fact, stealing gas is a serious offense that results in an automatic meter removal. It not only hurt the Richardsons, it also puts the neighborhood at risk.

"Any time you mix electricity and gas with someone who doesn't have the training or know what they're doing, it's a serious risk," said Chris Kozak with Columbia Gas.

Kozak says the hotline was created to help lower natural gas thefts. Don't worry about retaliation because tips are anonymous.

The hotline's number is 1-866-515-9864.