Police investigate cable theft in Cardwell, Mo.

Monday, April 21, 2008

CARDWELL, Mo. -- Police Chief Anthony Parker and officer Jack Powell recently aided Ritter Communications and Cable Company of Jonesboro, Ark., in its effort to stop cable theft within the city.

Powell said the department first learned about the theft of cable service when a resident moved to the Pecan Grove Apartments.

"When this gentleman moved in, he called to get his cable hooked up and that's when we started seeing that we had a problem," Powell said.

The Cardwell Police Department was called when a Ritter employee noticed that several apartment complexes were receiving cable from a splitter that had been set up.

"The gentleman traced the lines to several apartments," Powell said. "We would then go knock on the door, he would get the names of the individuals who occupied the residence and phone the main office to see if they were customers, if not, we wrote them a ticket," Powell said.

In all, there four people were issued tickets and summons to court from the Pecan Grove Apartments.

Powell said there were three additional locations that were discovered, that were doing the same thing.

"We found seven residences throughout the city that was receiving free cable," Powell said. "They are lucky the company didn't press the prosecution," he added.

Powell said the Ritter Company chose to drop the charges on those who had been a prior customer. "Charges were dropped to where it was just a slap on the wrist," Powell said. "It was knocked down to just court cost."

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