Gas Meter Theft Leaves OKC Family In The Cold

Monday, February 13th 2012, 10:53 pm

The recent cold weather has seemed to have sparked an unusual crime. Oklahoma Natural Gas is reporting people have been stealing gas meters from homes across the metro.

It happened three times over this past weekend.

The Kelley household woke up Sunday morning to a very cold home.

"About 55 degrees when I looked at the thermostat," Carolyn Kelley said.

After a little investigating, they figured out their gas stove didn't work either. And that's when Carolyn's husband went to the end of the lane to check out their gas meter and found it missing.

"I was like ‘what do you mean we don't have a gas meter?'" Carolyn said.

"Our expert said it was not uncommon when it gets this cold for people to attempt to try and do this," said Cherokee Ballard, spokesperson for Oklahoma Natural Gas.

Ballard wouldn't speculate on what people do with the stolen meters, but there are reports in other parts of the country of people stealing a meter then hooking them up at their own house, allowing them to steal natural gas.

"We would never recommend that, that's really not a good idea because that could be very dangerous for them," said Ballard.

The Kelleys called ONG and had their gas meter reinstalled and their heat back on within 45 minutes. But now know firsthand, the lengths people will go to steal.

"I guess desperate people do desperate things," Carolyn said.

Ballard said they can trace the serial number on the meters and find out if one is stolen. She said if you are having trouble paying your bill, call them and they will work with you to keep your heat on, so you don't have to go to such desperate measures.