Smithville Couple Charged with Stealing Electricity from Neighbor

August 18, 2017
Dwayne Page
Steve Franklin Mabe Jr.
Martha Conger Hale

A Smithville couple has been arrested for allegedly trying to steal electricity from their neighbor.

43 year old Steve Franklin Mabe Jr. and 37 year old Martha Conger Hale who reside on Charity Lane were arrested on Friday, August 11 and charged with theft of services and vandalism. Mabe was also charged with trespassing and reckless endangerment.

In the case against Hale, Smithville Police report that on Friday, July 28 Smithville Electric System received an alarm that showed the meter at Hale's residence on Charity Lane had been pulled off of the electrical box. Police were informed by Smithville Electric that the electrical meter box was bypassed with foreign wires not supplied or installed by the company and that Hale had vandalized the meter and stolen electricity.

Smithville Police were also advised that Mabe had been seen digging a ditch to his neighbor's property in order to connect an electrical wire to the power source of his neighbor’s air conditioning unit. Upon arrival, police observed the trench that had been dug approximately 30 feet onto the neighbor's property and the wire run to the air conditioning unit. In order to disconnect the wire, the unit had to be taken apart.

Smithville Electric System was called to disconnect the wire from the air conditioning unit and to pull up the wire that extended from the victim's property into Mabe's yard. Mabe did not have permission to be on his neighbor's property or to dig the trench. Investigators concluded that Mabe knowingly placed the victims in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury by creating a fire hazard. Mabe’s bond is $12,500. The bond for Hale is $5,500. Their court date is August 31.

34 year old Johnny Lynn Devault was cited for trespassing and shoplifting from Wal-Mart on Saturday, August 12. On May 2, Devault signed a form prohibiting him from being on the property of Wal-Mart but he was spotted at the store on August 12. Devault had on him an item that he had not paid for that belonged to Wal-Mart. His court date is August 31.

29 year old Lynette Eileen Hawkins was arrested on Saturday, August 12 for driving under the influence. Police responded to a reported wreck with no injuries but upon speaking with the driver of the vehicle, Hawkins, it was determined that no accident had occurred. The officer smelled the odor of alcohol coming from Hawkins' person. She was unsteady on her feet and her speech was slurred. She submitted to field sobriety tasks but she became unruly and refused to finish the tasks. She was then taken into custody. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is August 31.

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