Man charged for stealing power

By Abby Morris-Frye
star staff

  A Carter County man was arrested Monday after he reportedly threatened employees of the Elizabethton Electric System who were attempting to turn off electricity to his residence.
  Gregory Allen Street, 39, 2234 Elizabethton Highway, was arrested around 5:30 p.m. Monday by Carter County Sheriff's Department Investigator Laverne Julian and charged with theft of services and aggravated assault.
  According to reports, on Aug. 18, an employee of the Elizabethton Electric System had driven by Street's residence and noticed that there was no electric meter in the meter base but that "someone had put jumpers in the base and was obtaining power illegally."
  The employee reported his discovery to the EES office. "They pulled the records of the address and found that the power had been turned off to the residence on July 2, 2004 for non-payment," states Julian in his report. "The office then sent two employees of the Electric System out to cut the wires at the pole to ensure tampering could not continue."
  When the employees arrived, one of them got into the bucket of the truck to work on the electrical lines while the other remained on the ground to direct traffic.
  While the employees were there, a man later identified as Street came out of the residence and said something the employees told investigators they could not hear, and then he returned inside the residence.
  "The employees stated that the man reappeared a couple of minutes later with a gun and walked towards the employees with the gun pointed towards the truck," Julian said. "The employees stated that the gun had a bayonet attached to it and it appeared to be a rifle."
  According to statements EES employees gave investigators, the employees asked Street what he was doing and he responded by asking them what they were doing. "They told him they were cutting the wires to the pole," Julian said. "The employee in the bucket truck cut the wires and then lowered to the ground. The employees then stated that they got into the truck and left the scene."
  Julian said that on Aug. 19 he went to Street's residence and spoke with him about the incident and Street denied being outside the residence with a weapon or threatening EES employees.
  EES employees later picked Street out of a photo line-up as the man who had brandished the firearm. Street was arrested on Monday on warrants charging him with theft of services and aggravated assault in connection with the incident.