"Others found guilty must pay thousands in restitution
A Toledo man has been sentenced to 11 months in jail for stealing cable service. Michael Gresky, 44, of 636 Forsythe St., pleaded no contest to unauthorized use of computer, cable, or telecommunications property, a fifth-degree felony, and was found guilty.
Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Frederick H. McDonald also sentenced Gresky to serve three years of post-release control after his release from prison and ordered him to pay Buckeye more than $950 in restitution. Gresky had been charged with five felony counts.
Jeffrey Hemmelgarn, 40, of 1302 Crestwood Rd., working in conjunction with Gresky, pleaded guilty Dec. 15, 2009 to the same felony charge as Gresky, and is to be sentenced March 30.
Three others were also convicted of illegally making connections. They have been ordered to make restitution in amounts ranging from $1,600 to $10,500. If any of these people do not make restitution, they also will go to prison.
Buckeye CableSystem has an ongoing audit program in which contractors physically check addresses and report those that are hooked up illegally. Buckeye then contacts those residents and urges them to become paying customers or eventually face charges.
The president and general manager of Buckeye, Chip Carstensen, asks that anyone who knows of persons making illegal connections to report them anonymously to Buckeye either by calling 419-724-9800 or emailing the information to www.cabletheft.com.
He also urged those residents who have an illegal connection to call Buckeye and establish legitimate accounts before they are caught, when they eventually could face felony charges and possible jail time. "
I don't condone theft but for cryin out loud, this guy got a harsher sentence then the woman who drove on a suspended license and killed someone.
Let's get real.
I love it. All these people who think that if they don't go into a store and take a physical piece of property the are not stealing need to be held accountable.
Wow, you love how a guy who stole cable got 11 months in jail? I'm sure you never did anything wrong or stupid in your life. Self righteous prick.
Hey, donít do the crime if you canít do the time. This was not a split second decision or something done once. It was planned and methodical and on going. I pay my cable bill; why shouldnít he?
Amen Ryan. He's stealing from Cable and all our bills go up because of it.
I pay my cable bill every month and think this guy got what he deserves.
Sadly, there's plenty of people in the area probably stealing cable, and you know this.
Hunkytown - "wrong or stupid" is different than intentionally doing something illegal.
actions have consequences...
Ok I'll give you that one Billy. Its just 11 months seems awfully long for stealing cable. It doesn't bother me that much I guess, there plenty more important things to get worked up over than cable theft. Maybe it's just my hatred of the Block's.
What he did was wrong, and I would never steal cable. I don't even like cable.
However, that is the kind of country we live in. A guy in a tshirt and jeans steals cable, and he goes to jail.
A guy in a suit and tie steals millions/billions and except for show case examples like Madoff, nothing much happens.
Umm ilovetoledo you do know Madoff got 150 year sentence right?
Umm...dbw8906? Did you read what I said? I mentioned Madoff. He is a showcase, a scapegoat, the tip of the iceberg. The biggest robbery in the world occurred under TAARP where Bush and his cronies gave hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers money to private individuals without having to pay it back and with no accountability. The numbers are legion, and no one seems to ask questions, or cares. There should probably be thousands of bankers, politicians. brokers, CEOs all on trial and receiving hard time.
"Wow, you love how a guy who stole cable got 11 months in jail?"
Yeah. I gotta agree. Seems kind of harsh. The judge should have made him pay Buckeye for the bill, with interest, during the months he stole cable. Then give him community service and probation, if he doesn't have a previous record. The CEO of Enron didn't spend a day in jail and stole all those hard working people's money.
"The president and general manager of Buckeye, Chip Carstensen, asks that anyone who knows of persons making illegal connections to report them anonymously to Buckeye..."
Sorry, Chip. Do your own frigging work. I pay my own bills, too, but I'm not going to snitch on anyone.
Buckeye then contacts those residents and urges them to become paying customers or eventually face charges.
That, as far as I'm concerned, is the justification for the sentence. It's not just that they're stealing a service the rest of us pay for. It's that they're warned AND given the chance to become a paying customer - and they STILL continue to steal it.
"Buckeye then contacts those residents and urges them to become paying customers or eventually face charges."
I doubt the company notifies these people that they are aware they are not paying for cable and warned to either pay or go to jail. That has to be bogus. Who would thumb their nose at that? I agree they should be punished as well as pay for the cable they stole. But 11 months in jail is a bit much. I'd rather my tax dollars go toward putting violent criminals in jail.
I was under the impression that this guy wasn't just someone who was stealing cable for his own single home.
My understanding was that he was taking payment from others to hook up illegal cable at multiple homes.
If this guy were just stealing cable for his own home, then I'd agree that 11 months in jail would be an awfully steep punishment.
However, if this guy was operating his own "business" selling hookups to help others steal cable, then a jail sentence seems appropriate.
I guess its what your definition of "stealing" is. The satellite companies send out a signal through the air.
Do they own the air? If you get a device to view these signals you are a thief. Who gave the satellite companies the power to make using these signals without paying for it illegal? The courts? Who is getting paid off? At least with cable, you have a "cable" physically attached to your house along with their equipment. If the guy above was hooking up people illegally, he deserves to go to jail. In the old days you could put a chip in a cable box and get all pay channels. Is a person who did this while still paying $40 a month cable bill deserve to go to jail? I don't think you can hack digital cable nowadays.
Using that logic it should be legal to listen to peoples cell phone calls. But I bet you would throw a fit if the government or anybody else did that to you.
The president and general manager of Buckeye, Chip Carstensen, is offering a reward of $100 per household that is illegally stealing Buckeye cable service and causing everyone's bill to go up. From Mr. Carstensen, Buckeye Cable would be happy to cut our rate by up to 50% but with all these criminals stealing cable, we just can't. We'd be out of business before you know it.
I agree that 11 months is too long. Have him make restitution and assign community service.
what about all the (residential and commercial) idiots that hook up illegal electrical service (bypass the meter)...we're all paying for their "free" service.
bikerdude: I can assure you that the company contacts these people first. Why wouldn't they try to turn that person into an honest paying customer first? Also, people that steal cable can cause issues for those that pay for the service. They have disconnected other PAYING customers to steal cable for themselves. The answer is really simple here: Don't steal.
"Why wouldn't they try to turn that person into an honest paying customer first?"
Because it doesn't make sense, unless the cost is so steep that the people can't afford restitution. I would imagine there would be something worked out so they could pay over time. It defies logic that anyone who is caught stealing cable would choose to go to prison for 11 months instead of paying $950 in restitution.
Jashansen, I am wondering why you posted this article on the board, since you work for Buckeye. Was it to warn everyone what happens if you steal cable, or to ask the public to inform on people who steal cable? Kinda creepy. Maybe Chip should buy an ad.
As a longtime paying Buckeye VIP package customer who lost his phone and Internet service at two different time periods for a week each because some jerk was stealing the cable signal in my neighborhood, I'd just as soon see people like this fry.
Turns out that however the schmuck was doing it, he was introducing feedback into the system that was playing havoc with the different frequencies at which Buckeye's voice, data and cable TV services operate.
For reasons I don't pretend to understand, it only affected those of us who had the VIP bundles. At the time (about 4 years ago) there were about a half dozen of us who were adversely affected. Being without phone and Internet service for a solid week - twice - was no fun.
This joker who received the 11 months in the pokey can consider himself lucky I wasn't the one doling out his sentence.
Aside from a select few channels, very few, I would not take cable if they paid me, much less steal it!