Police say man siphoned electricity from neighbor’s home

Published 5:52 pm Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Carter County man faces a theft charge after police say he was siphoning electricity from a neighbor’s home without permission.

Deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Gregory Calderon, 35, 229 H. Heaton Road, Elizabethton, on Wednesday night and charged him with theft of services under $1,000 and resisting stop/arrest.

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Shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Carter County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Nick Andes responded to 235 H. Heaton Road to investigate a reported theft of power from that home by a neighboring resident. When Andes arrived at 235 H. Heaton Road, he met with John Grindstaff, who told the officer he lived at the residence with Cora Mann.

Grindstaff told the officer he was sitting in a car parked in the driveway of the home when he saw Calderon walking from the residence at 229 H. Heaton Road with an orange extension cord. According to Grindstaff, Calderon walked to the rear of the residence at 235 H. Heaton Road and then returned to his own home.

“Mr. Grindstaff stated that he inspected the area where he observed Mr. Calderon and found the cord plugged into an outdoor outlet at the rear of the residence and that he further observed it running into the rear window of H. Heaton Road,” Andes said.

Andes said he then spoke with Mann, whom he identified as the owner of the home.

“Ms. Mann stated that she had noticed a $150 jump in her electric bill and asked the persons in her residence to keep an eye on things,” Andes said. “Ms. Mann stated that when Mr. Grindstaff advised her of what he had observed she immediately called for an officer. Ms. Mann further states that she did not give Mr. Calderon permission to divert power from her residence to his at any time.”

Andes said he then walked outside Mann’s home and saw the orange extension cord plugged into an outdoor outlet. The officer said he then followed the cord to the home at 229 H. Heaton Road where he saw Calderon through a window and asked him to come outside.

According to police reports, Calderon told Andes that a woman living at 235 H. Heaton Road named Christine had given his wife permission to hook up the extension cord.

“I then asked Mr. Calderon if he asked the homeowner for permission before diverting power and he stated ‘no,’” Andes said. “As I was continuing my questioning of Mr. Calderon he became agitated and stated that ‘I’m not going anywhere,’ and began walking and then running toward the front door.”

“I then gave chase and yelled commands to Mr. Calderon to stop,” Andes continued. “As I chased him to the front door he entered the residence and slammed the door in my face. I yelled for Mr. Calderon to open the door but he did not. I then forced my way in while in hot pursuit and took Mr. Calderon into custody.”

Deputies transported Calderon to the Carter County Detention Center where he was booked in on charges of theft of services over $1,000 and resisting stop/arrest. Calderon was later released after posting bond.