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Thou Shalt Not Steal (Electricity for Thy Barbershop)

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

The electric company might not have known what Bishop William Marshall was doing the past few years, but the Lord certainly did. And now the United Illuminating Company and Bridgeport Police Department know as well.

Marshall was arrested on third-degree larceny charges after investigators discovered he was siphoning power to his barber shop and tattoo parlor. When God said, "Let there be light," we're not sure he might by illegally reconnecting your shut off electricity meter.

Let Light Shine out of the Darkness

Marshall, pastor of City of Life Worship and Deliverance Center and member of the city's fire commission, was also operating Marshall Artz Barber Shop and Tattoo. But United Illuminating cut off the electricity to the barbershop in 2013, after Marshall failed to pay an outstanding balance of over $4,000.

When United investigators were checking on the meter for the building out of which Marshall Artz was operating, they found it still running and the electricity on in the barbershop. It appears as though Marshall had illegally reconnected the meter, allowing power to be restored to the shop without registering the service on the meter. "Tampering with a meter is not just illegal, United spokesperson Edward Crowder told the Connecticut Post, "but very dangerous to anyone who may come in contact with the equipment."

Oh, the Power of the Word

United investigators estimate Marshall's shop used some 33,782 kilowatt hours since the power was disconnected in August of 2013, totaling $8,191.86 in losses. Marshall was arrested at his home and later released.

Larceny in the third degree is a class D felony in Connecticut. This felony will result when an offense involves theft or misappropriating of property valued between $2,000 and $10,000. If convicted, Marshall is looking at one to five years in prison, and up to $5,000 in fines.

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