Stealing to keep air-conditioners running

A WOMAN has copped the heat of a fine after stealing electricity to keep cool.

Megan Anne McCabe pleaded guilty to one count of stealing in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Monday after she stole electricity to power two air conditioners.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tina Bland told the court police attended a property on Hunter St which was owned by a man who was renovating the home to rent out.

When police arrived they saw an extension lead connected to the powered shed with the switch turned on.

Police followed the cord to McCabe's home which backed onto the property.

Sen Const Bland told the court the extension lead was fed through the cut mesh of a screen door and was plugged into a power board which was powering the two air conditioners.

The two air conditioners were running at the time.

When police questioned McCabe about the power she told them a man, whose name she did not disclose, had been staying at her house and he was the one who connected the power chord to the shed.

She said she knew he did it and did not unplug them at any time.

Sen Const Bland told the court McCabe knew it was an offence and she didn't know the owners of the property she stole the power from and didn't have permission to do so.  McCabe's lawyer Matt Maloy told the court his client couldn't afford to run the air conditioning.

He said when McCabe found out about the extension lead being connected to the shed, she said she should have stopped it happening but didn't.

Mr Maloy said his client was happy to pay some form of compensation to the victim.

Magistrate Andrew Moloney took into account McCabe's plea of guilty.

Mr Moloney described the incident as bizarre.

"Usually when we see people stealing electricity it's to power cannabis growth," he said.  McCabe was fined $150 and was ordered to pay $20 restitution.