What is cable television signal theft?
Cable television signal theft is the illegal interception of cable programming services without the authorization of or payment to a cable system. While laws vary from state to state, according to the Telecom Act of 1996 (47 USC 553 and 605), cable theft is a crime that is punishable by both hefty financial penalty and jail time.
I think my neighbor is stealing
cable. What should I do?
Please contact Cox if you feel someone is receiving services without paying for them. It is illegal to fraudulently obtain cable service by attaching a wire or device to the receiver or any other company wires or equipment. The penalties under the law include fines up to $10,000, imprisonment or both. While in some cases we offer amnesty if the offender agrees to become a paying customer, we do find it necessary to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Cable theft industry-wide costs operators over $1 billion annually and can drive up monthly costs for our honest, paying customers.
I receive cable but have never been billed for it. Could I be doing
You are doing something illegal. There are two kinds of cable theft: active and passive. Active theft is when a person knowingly makes an illegal connection to the cable system or tampers with the equipment in order to obtain unauthorized services. For example, cutting into your neighbor's cable to get free service is theft. Passive theft is when a customer knowingly receives free services due to the unlawful connection of a previous homeowner. Even though passive theft is the result of an illegal past action, if you don't report it and receive the free service, it's still a crime.