breaker switch thefts natomas
According to the information SMUD gave my home seller in south Natomas, main breaker switch thefts are on the rise. I imagine it has something to do with the year the home was built. This home in Natomas was built in 1981. Many homes around it were also constructed in 1981. The prevailing mindset, it seems, among some people who can’t afford to buy a new main breaker switch, which are often obsolete after 35 years, is to steal it from your neighbor’s house. That’s what happened.
It was a particular 1981 Sylvania main breaker switch. The electrician who replaced it said he was amazed the thief wasn’t electrocuted during its extraction. I imagine crooks who would engage in main breaker switch thefts to feed the black market tend to live on the edge of danger.
The whole thing started when my client called to say she was locked out of her house. This situation also seems to happen with frequency, yet I am more than happy to pop over and open the door. I’ve even done it in my pajamas and slippers. Except when my client called, I was on my way elsewhere and could not cancel the appointment. This is when I know I can always rely on my Elizabeth Weintraub Team members to pitch in, and sure enough, Josh Amolsch, kind soul, agreed to dash over and unlock the seller’s door.
While on the freeway, I received another call from my seller. When she got inside, she discovered she had no electricity. I asked her to walk outside with her cell, keeping me on the line, and to open her electrical panel. Well, her panel cover was on the ground. She thought the home inspector forgot to reattach it. I asked her to look for the main breaker switch, explaining it would be bigger and look different than all the others.
She could not locate it. I chalked it up to my better-safe-than-sorry practice and suggested she call an electrician. I don’t want my clients messing around with electrical panels, especially when they can’t differentiate between the breaker switches. That could be a recipe for disaster. Little did I realize that the reason she couldn’t find the main breaker switch was because it wasn’t there. Beware of main breaker switch thefts, especially on older homes.
Better advice is to lock your electrical panel, especially when your home in Natomas is for sale. Thieves search for homes on the market to rob. There should be a spot at the bottom to attach a lock. I’m amazed the crooks didn’t swipe the entire electrical panel. To replace the breaker switch, it cost $750.