An electricity-pole fire at A.J.C. Brouwer and Sarsapilla Roads on Wednesday evening revealed a hazardous situation. Because both the overhead line and the pole had burnt out due to the high load, and considering the weather with a chance of lightning, it was decided to cut power for the night and assess the situation in the morning, leaving residents in that part of Cay Hill in the dark for the night.

It turned out illicit “drop cord” connections to the grid of utilities provider GEBE were the reason. This also meant residents of the area behind the former Cake House could not be reconnected in the same way.

Acting Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Cornelius de Weever met with the government-owned company to seek a solution. The plan was to install temporary low voltage overhead cables to be able to restore power.

What makes this even more regrettable is that people stealing electricity this way from the entire population who own GEBE have now also done a great disservice directly to their own neighbours out of sheer greed. Perhaps there is a lesson in that.

Some years ago, former GEBE employees were going around tampering with meters for money to dishonestly keep down the bills of those who paid them. It was notable at the time how prominent and seemingly law-abiding citizens as well as businesses were making use of the scheme, although in the end most settled out of court.

The point is that if people cooperate with, tolerate or even ignore wrongful activities which at first glance may seem quite innocent, it may one day come back to haunt them big time. Stealing energy is no better than looting and persons who do it are no more than common thieves.