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Thread: Clearwire stealing power from building residents

  1. #1
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    Clearwire stealing power from building residents

    Video: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id...84&pid=9002874

    NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's called juice jacking - tapping into your electric box without you knowing it.

    They get power and you get the bill. One Brooklyn restaurant manager found out that one of the country's largest broadband companies was doing it, but he needed help to bring these juice jackers to justice.

    "How mad? We're in debt right now because of this," Roberto Ortiz said.

    Ortiz says he feels powerless - literally.

    For nearly 2 years, the manager of Pedro's Kitchen and Brew says his business has been ripped off for electricity they never used.

    The first tip off - his ConEd bills. Normally the Mexican restaurant's monthly bill is in the hundreds, but more than a year ago they started spiking.

    "Almost doubling and tripling," he said.

    The problem - a 2nd electric box found by Roberto's electrician in the basement of the building where they rent.

    "It's running directly into our system," he said.

    They took a video, saying the line lead to the roof powering a group of 7 cell towers.

    Roberto reported it to the police, the FDNY and the building's manager.

    A rep for the landlord booted us off the roof. He wouldn't answer if he knew about the power splice or tell us who owned the towers. The logos are scratched off, but under a coat of spray paint we unearthed a clue.

    Clearwire: one of the nation's largest broad band companies. When 7 On Your Side asked for an explanation, Clearwire admitted it had been using the restaurant's electricity since March 2011.

    "Before you guys actually got involved they were stalling, blaming the landlord, the landlord was blaming them," Ortiz said.

    He was told the technicians responsible for the hook up were fired.

    Clearwire is negotiating with the restaurant, which is looking to get paid in the $30,000 range. Also, the NYPD is still investigating the case for theft and fraud allegations.

    The big takeaways: watch your bills to see if they're much bigger than in previous years. This happens to homes too, and if you suspect someone's jacking your juice, document it and call your utility company right away to report it.

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    Re: Clearwire stealing power from building residents

    My personal opinion this is just an example of bull crap news reporting. (I have little respect for journalists.) Instead its just a serious honest mistake. But that wouldn't be a dramatic story... Sigh ..

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2

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    What leads you to believe that this was a mistake, and not malicious? This site was likely up since 2009, and they had never paid a power bill. That doesn't raise a red flag? Or the fact that whoever installed it 100% absolutely had to have known what they were doing? This doesn't happen on accident.

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    I am on the board of my condo building and we allowed Clearwire to come in a few years ago. They did a professional installation including a submeter for power which they pay on time. They ask for permission when checking on equipment and submit plans when they alter something. We had them create some painted brown cylinders to cover their antennas to make them less benign.

    I can't speak to the particular incident mentioned in this thread but Clearwire has been a solid tenant in my building.

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    I'm surprised that the cellular switch gear consumes that much power. $600 for the restaurant and ~$2000 for the restaurant and switchgear? Con Edison probably charges... $0.15 per KWh? That means that that cell site is consuming power at a rate of 10KW to 20KW (large errors due to the complexity of the reported situation). That's like 5 tons of air conditioning.

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    No wonder the landlord acting so defensive... He's getting paid every month by ClearWire for renting the roof. That's on average $3,000 in NYC. Possibly more for 7 antennas...
    I bet there is more to it.
    Verizon Wireless 20Mhz FDD LTE

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    We had a situation at this at a public safety radio site I manage. Someone wired a tap into our breaker box to run not cell sites, but IP security cameras from a nearby apartment complex! Guess it was easier to hop a fence, dig a trench, and go up the side of our box with a piece of romex.

    In the end, it ended up costing them $8500 to have it removed, and we also pursued a criminal case against the complex maintenance person who admitted to doing the rig. In Georgia, it is a felony to tamper with any regulated utility, and one is also charged with theft of services. He also got a burglary charge, ended up pleading out to criminal damage to property (a misdemeanor) and having to pay restitution.

    This could have placed our radio system at risk, as well as human life. The cable was raw romex type, not even in a piece of conduit, buried about 1 foot under soil. Any kid could have dug it up and been killed, or a fire started.

    You can bet Mr. Nervous Building manager is guilty, he assisted in this crime because no doubt he pocketed a nice monthly bonus for allowing the theft to occur. But so is whoever did the wiring, and the spraypaint and attempt to cover up the owners of the lockers is telling. At least, from the brief shots, they did a semi-pro job, not some ghetto wiring with a pair of pliers and wire nuts.

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