As Energy Thieves Turn Crafty, Con Ed Turns Up Battle of Wits

Jilted lovers, disgruntled former employees, prying neighbors -- Charles A. Mormilo takes the anonymous tips where he can. But in his tireless pursuit of those stealing from the giant New York utility Consolidated Edison, Mr. Mormilo, its top inspector, is up against a city that prides itself on its scrappy ingenuity. There was the cost-cutting landlord from the Bronx who dug a trench -- 130 feet long and 3 feet deep -- from his building to the street. Drilling a hole in the side of a gas main, he tried to connect his own pipe, but failed to make a proper seal and caused a near disastrous gas leak that went undiscovered for days.

By IAN URBINA

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