Apartment Residents Without Power Over Stolen Meters

Residents pay electric bill to apartment complex; Oncor says electricity was stolen

Four Dallas families who pay their electric bill to their apartment complex are sweating out the summer heat after their power was turned off.

Oncor Electric Delivery disconnected the power Monday after discovering old, outdated meters on four units at the The Ivy Apartments in northeast Dallas.

"Those meters had been stolen and ... they'd been stealing electricity now for a very long time," Oncor spokeswoman Jeamy Molina said.

The residents said Tuesday that they have been paying the apartment managers for electricity and are furious after Oncor told them that the power was being used illegally.

"I don't think that's right -- how they're charging us deposits for electricity," Saretta Redman said. "So you pay the bill to the office, and Oncor told me they're not getting any of that money, so they're not receiving the money. So where is the money going to?"

Her thermostat is set to 71 degrees, but the temperature inside her apartment is 91 degrees. For the second night in a row, she'll sleep in her steamy one-bedroom unit at The Ivy. Redman said her first night without power was hot.

"It was very hot and uncomfortable," she said.

Francine Abelino, a mother of three, is also without power as temperature creep toward triple digits.

"I have no electricity, management's not here, nothing's here," she said. "The last time I talked to them, they said my lights would be on, and my lights are not on."

Redman and Abelino said they want to know when the power will be turned back on.

Molina said the city has to inspect the units first.

"We don't know who took them out, who put them in, what kind of crazy wiring they might have done, and we don't want to cause a fires or electrical damages," she said.

NBC 5 called a city code litigation attorney to ask if the inspection was considered high priority because of temperatures. The call was not returned.

NBC 5 also knocked on the door of the apartment management office and called an emergency number for an after-hour manager. The number didn't have a voice mail system set up, so no message could be left.

"Wrong is wrong and right is right, and this right here is wrong," Redman said.

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