In the poor, undeveloped areas of Belize City, stealing electricity is a way of life. In most cases, it's because there are no lamp-posts in the ground, due to poor or no urban planning.
And today, 1 woman almost got sent to jail because she was caught in the act. 61 year-old Honduran Dominga Nunez, a resident of Antelope Street Extension was found guilty of stealing electricity in the Magistrate's Court.
A technician for the Belize Electricity Limited testified that Nunez had rigged up an illegal connection. He visited her house on May 14 of last year in the company of a police officer and a scenes of crime technician. They found that she installed wires which ran from her connection bypassing the meter, so that there was no way to measure how much electricity she had consumed. Nunez was subsequently criminally charged for stealing electricity, and she was found guilty before Magistrate Dale Cayetano.
She was fined $500 to be paid by August 31, or else she will spend 1 year in prison. Magistrate Cayetano gave Nunez a strict warning not to steal any more electricity because it is a serious crime which could have landed her in jail for 5 years.