§ 11-35-7. Bypassing meters Use of electricity, gas or water with intent to defraud.
Every person who, with intent to injure or defraud any gaslight company or any electric company, or corporation supplying water in this state at a stipulated rate of payment, shall make or cause to be made any wire, pipe, tube, or other instrument or contrivance, and connect it or cause it to be connected with any main, service pipe, or other pipe, appliance, or appurtenance used for or in connection with the works or apparatus employed for conducting or supplying electricity, illuminating gas, or water, in any manner that is calculated to supply electricity, gas, or water to any burner, orifice, faucet, or other outlet whatsoever, without the electricity, gas, or water passing through a meter provided or used for measuring or registering its quantity so passing through, or without the consent of the company or corporation to the connections, or who shall otherwise use any electricity, gas, or water with the intent to defraud the company or corporation of payment, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be imprisoned not exceeding one year or be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000). In any prosecution under this section, proof that any of the acts specified in this section were done on or about the premises occupied by the defendant, or proof of the presence on or about the premises, of any device which affects the diversion of electricity, gas, or water without it being measured or registered by the meter provided, shall be prima facie evidence that the defendant committed the acts, or aided or abetted in their commission, maliciously and with intent to injure or defraud.
(G.L. 1896, ch. 279, § 49; G.L. 1909, ch. 345, § 52; G.L. 1923, ch. 397, § 52; P.L. 1930, ch. 1620, § 2; G.L. 1938, ch. 608, § 58; G.L. 1956, § 11-35-7; P.L. 1986, ch. 544, § 1; P.L. 1989, ch. 152, § 1.)