Charlotte County woman arrested for theft of utilities

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CHARLOTTE COUNTY, FL-Community Policing Officers arrested a Port Charlotte woman on charges of Trespassing and Theft of Utilities after finding her living at a house where the water service had been turned off at least three times.

In early July 2013, deputies responded to a suspicious person complaint at 21055 Randall Avenue in Port Charlotte and spoke with Teresa L. Jones, 27, who said she had rented the house.  In mid-July, Charlotte County Utilities turned off the water to the residence.

In early August, CCU found that the water was back on at the house.  They shut off the water again and put a lock box on the meter.  During a call for service on august 20, deputies found that Jones was still living at the Randall Avenue address, still claiming she was renting the house.

In mid-September, CCU pulled the water meter from the house because it had again been tampered with.  On two different occasions in early October, deputies found Jones living at the house.

On October 29, Community Policing Officers found a water meter installed at the house.  When they checked with CCU, they found that there should be no meter there.  Deputies provided the number on the meter to employees at the utility company who could not find a listing for the meter in their system.  They made arrangements to have the meter removed and the water line cut and capped.

Earlier today, detectives were able to contact the owner of the house who said she had not rented the house to anyone and did not give anyone permission to be there.  Deputies located Jones at the house on Randall Avenue again and placed her under arrest for on the trespassing and theft of utilities charges.  At the time of this report, she was being booked at the Charlotte County Jail on a total $1500 bond.