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Theft of services - 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3926

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     § 3926.  Theft of services.
        (a)  Acquisition of services.--
            (1)  A person is guilty of theft if he intentionally
        obtains services for himself or for another which he knows
        are available only for compensation, by deception or threat,
        by altering or tampering with the public utility meter or
        measuring device by which such services are delivered or by
        causing or permitting such altering or tampering, by making
        or maintaining any unauthorized connection, whether
        physically, electrically or inductively, to a distribution or
        transmission line, by attaching or maintaining the attachment
        of any unauthorized device to any cable, wire or other
        component of an electric, telephone or cable television
        system or to a television receiving set connected to a cable
        television system, by making or maintaining any unauthorized
        modification or alteration to any device installed by a cable
        television system, or by false token or other trick or
        artifice to avoid payment for the service.
            (1.1)  A person is guilty of theft if he intentionally
        obtains or attempts to obtain telecommunication service by
        the use of an unlawful telecommunication device or without
        the consent of the telecommunication service provider.
            (3)  A person is not guilty of theft of cable television
        service under this section who subscribes to and receives
        service through an authorized connection of a television
        receiving set at his dwelling and, within his dwelling, makes
        an unauthorized connection of an additional television
        receiving set or sets or audio system which receives only
        basic cable television service obtained through such
        authorized connection.
            (4)  Where compensation for service is ordinarily paid
        immediately upon the rendering of such service, as in the
        case of hotels and restaurants, refusal to pay or absconding
        without payment or offer to pay gives rise to a presumption
        that the service was obtained by deception as to intention to
        pay.
        (b)  Diversion of services.--A person is guilty of theft if,
     having control over the disposition of services of others to
     which he is not entitled, he knowingly diverts such services to
     his own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled
     thereto.
        (c)  Grading.--
            (1)  An offense under this section constitutes a summary
        offense when the value of the services obtained or diverted
        is less than $50.
            (2)  When the value of the services obtained or diverted
        is $50 or more, the grading of the offense shall be as
        established in section 3903 (relating to grading of theft
        offenses).
            (3)  Amounts involved in theft of services committed
        pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the
        same person or several persons, may be aggregated in
        determining the grade of the offense.
        (d)  Inferences.--
            (1)  Any person having possession of or access to the
        location of a public utility meter or service measuring
        device which has been avoided or tampered with so as to
        inhibit or prevent the accurate measurement of utility
        service and who enjoys the use of or receives the benefit
        from the public utility service intended to be metered or
        measured by the public utility meter or measuring device so
        avoided or tampered with may be reasonably inferred to have
        acted to avoid or tamper with the public utility meter or
        measuring device with the intent to obtain the public utility
        service without making full compensation therefor.
            (2)  Any person having possession of or access to the
        location of the distribution or transmission lines or other
        facilities of a cable television system which have been
        tapped, altered or tampered with or to which any unauthorized
        connection has been made or to which any unauthorized device
        has been attached or any person having possession of or
        access to any device installed by a cable television system
        to which an unauthorized modification or alteration has been
        made, the result of which tapping, altering, tampering,
        connection, attachment or modification is to avoid payment
        for all or any part of the cable television service for which
        payment is normally required, and who enjoys the use of or
        receives the benefit from the cable television service, may
        be reasonably inferred to have acted to have tapped, altered,
        tampered with, connected or attached to or modified cable
        television facilities with the intent to obtain cable
        television service without making full compensation therefor.
        This inference shall not apply to the act of a subscriber to
        cable television service, who receives service through an
        authorized connection of a television receiving set at his
        dwelling, in making, within his dwelling, an unauthorized
        connection of an additional television receiving set or sets
        or audio system which receives only basic cable television
        service obtained through such authorized connection.
        (e)  Sale or transfer of device or plan intended for
     acquisition or diversion.--A person is guilty of a misdemeanor
     of the third degree if he sells, gives or otherwise transfers to
     others or offers, advertises or exposes for sale to others, any
     device, kit, plan or other instructional procedure for the
     making of such device or a printed circuit, under circumstances
     indicating his having knowledge or reason to believe that such
     device, kit, plan or instructional procedure is intended for use
     by such others for the acquisition or diversion of services as
     set forth in subsections (a) and (b).
        (f)  Restitution.--The court may, in addition to any other
     sentence authorized by law, sentence a person convicted of
     violating this section to make restitution under section 1106
     (relating to restitution for injuries to person or property) or
     42 Pa.C.S. § 9721(c) (relating to sentencing generally).
        (g)  Civil action.--A telecommunication service provider
     aggrieved by a violation of this section may in a civil action
     in any court of competent jurisdiction obtain appropriate
     relief, including preliminary and other equitable or declaratory
     relief, compensatory and punitive damages, reasonable
     investigation expenses, costs of suit and attorney fees.
        (h)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
     words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
     subsection:
        "Service."  Includes, but is not limited to, labor,
     professional service, transportation service, the supplying of
     hotel accommodations, restaurant services, entertainment, cable
     television service, the supplying of equipment for use and the
     supplying of commodities of a public utility nature such as gas,
     electricity, steam and water, and telephone or telecommunication
     service. The term "unauthorized" means that payment of full
     compensation for service has been avoided, or has been sought to
     be avoided, without the consent of the supplier of the service.
        "Telecommunication service provider."  A person or entity
     providing telecommunication service, including, but not limited
     to, a cellular, paging or other wireless communications company
     or other person or entity which, for a fee, supplies the
     facility, cell site, mobile telephone switching office or other
     equipment or telecommunication service.
        "Telephone service" or "telecommunication service."
     Includes, but is not limited to, any service provided for a
     charge or compensation to facilitate the origination,
     transmission, emission or reception of signs, signals, data,
     writings, images and sounds or intelligence of any nature by
     telephone, including cellular telephones, wire, radio,
     electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical system.
        "Unlawful telecommunication device."  Any electronic serial
     number, mobile identification number, personal identification
     number or any telecommunication device that is capable or has
     been altered, modified, programmed or reprogrammed alone or in
     conjunction with another access device or other equipment so as
     to be capable of acquiring or facilitating the acquisition of a
     telecommunication service without the consent of the
     telecommunication service provider. The term includes, but is
     not limited to, phones altered to obtain service without the
     consent of the telecommunication service provider, tumbler
     phones, counterfeit or clone phones, tumbler microchips,
     counterfeit or clone microchips, scanning receivers of wireless
     telecommunication service of a telecommunication service
     provider and other instruments capable of disguising their
     identity or location or of gaining access to a communications
     system operated by a telecommunication service provider.
     (Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.85, No.40, eff. 60 days; Nov. 26, 1978,
     P.L.1326, No.321, eff. 90 days; Dec. 21, 1984, P.L.1210, No.230,
     eff. imd.; June 13, 1995, P.L.52, No.8, eff. 60 days)

        Cross References.  Section 3926 is referred to in sections
     910, 5708 of this title; section 5552 of Title 42 (Judiciary and
     Judicial Procedure).
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Last modified: November 27, 2007