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2/7/2009
Poland: Man Uses Speed Camera to Power Neighborhood
It took more than a year to find a man who used a nearby speed camera to power two neighborhood houses in Mragowo, Poland.

Police photo of Polish camera tap
A 44-year-old Polish man came up with a better use for the speed camera constantly flashing outside his home in Mragowo, a town north of Warsaw. The man, identified by Warminsko-Mazurska police only as Piotr W., admitted last week to burying an extension cord two feet underground and tapping into the automated ticketing machine's power supply.

Between December 2007 and January 2009, the camera powered not only the man's home, but that of a neighbor. It took more than a year before officials noticed that the electricity bill for the police was unusually high. On January 27, an officer who was sent out to investigate found the buried cord and followed it to Piotr's home.

Upon being confronted, Piotr W. and girlfriend Anna M. immediately confessed to taking the power. In light of their cooperation, a judge suspended a jail sentence and ordered the man to repair the damage, pay a fine of 800 Zloty (US $225), and pay back the city for the 4300 Zloty (US $1200) in electricity taken.



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