Buddies were boxing clever
Hundreds of householders were fiddling their electricity meters with little black boxes.
An investigation revealed in November 1987 that the boxes – which turned back the meter – were widely used and were manufactured in a council house.
And the Express disclosed that the most popular users of the black boxes were not from less well-off areas but in affluent middle-class housing estates in and around Paisley.
The Express managed to track down one of the mystery men who made the boxes which sold for between £45 and £80 but can save hundreds of pounds on the annual electricity bill.
We were shown one of the boxes which came complete with elasticated strap to hang over the electricity meter and from one man who makes them a six-month guarantee.
And we were told:“You can make a black box in a couple of hours and you can buy parts from any electrical shop.
“When fitted, the box reverses the current and the meter is turned back.
“It’s easily removed after you’ve used it and it cannot be detected.
“You wouldn’t believe the people who buy them – they stay in the private houses in and outside the town.
“These people are so much in debt that they can’t afford to pay their electricity bill.”
A spokesman for the South of Scotland Electricity Board said: “All methods of theft can be detected.”