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Is Your Neighbour Stealing from You?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 27 Nov 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Neighbbour Stealing Theft Wifi Gas

Theft is a real problem in the 21st century – and we don’t mean stealing the milk from your doorstep, it’s more serious, sometimes invisible things that you should look out for.

Of course, most neighbours are not problem neighbours at all and they wouldn’t dream of helping themselves to your property – but the lines do become blurred for some people about what is acceptable and what isn’t, and some are downright blatant when it comes to misappropriating what isn’t theirs.

Neighbour Stealing your WiFi

Most people have some sort of WiFi these days and unfortunately, some people don’t think they should have to pay for it. If your neighbour ‘piggybacks’ your WiFi, they could cause you all sorts of connection problems, slow down your broadband speed too - but more importantly they can steal files from your computers or infect your network with viruses and malware at the same time. It’s not just rude, it’s illegal, and potentially they could be prosecuted under The Communications Act 2003, which says a "person who (a) dishonestly obtains an electronic communications service, and (b) does so with intent to avoid payment of a charge applicable to the provision of that service, is guilty of an offence".

If you notice intermittent problems with your connection, or your broadband appears to slow down at certain times every day, you could have a problem with someone stealing your WiFi from you.

The first thing to do if you suspect a WiFi thief is get on the case and check your wireless network log. How you do this varies depending on your computer, but if you look at your network and see more devices connected to it than there should be, you may have a neighbour stealing from you.

To stop them stealing, turn on your WEP or WPA encryption. Many broadband suppliers do this straight away and give you the ‘key’ or password when you set up broadband with them, but if yours is optional, make sure it’s activated. You’ll have to check your router instructions to find out how to do this.

Neighbour Stealing your Post

Stolen and lost mail could potentially be a real problem in these days of identity theft, so if you suspect your parcels or post are going astray courtesy of the neighbours, you need to get onto it straight away. If anything that could be used in identity theft goes missing, such as a passport, driving licences, credit or debit card, report it to the sender straight away.

You should also tell Royal Mail if you think that someone’s been helping themselves to your mail – in some cases people may even set up false mail redirection on your address! Contact the investigations unit immediately if you suspect anything. Telephone the Royal Mail Customer Care Team on 08457 740 740.

Meanwhile, practical solutions to the issue of your disappearing mail could be a lockable, private post box, having important mail or parcels delivered to you at work rather than at home, or asking the post office for your own private post office box, so that when you receive a package, it’s held at the post office until you pick it up.

Danger – Neighbour stealing your Gas or Electricity

This situation is surprisingly common – we’ve all heard of people being astonished by astronomical gas and electricity bills out of the blue. In some cases, it could be that a crafty neighbour is stealing your fuel – but this isn’t just rude, it’s criminal and potentially extremely dangerous too.

There are tens of thousands of instances of this type of theft every year, costing the public more than £100m. Sometimes people can’t afford their bills so feel it’s OK to help themselves for free, but it’s also common for people to interfere with meters when they are involved in illegal drug cultivation.

People who have stolen energy can be prosecuted under several pieces of legislation, so they need to be reported as soon as you realise what they are up to. If you think they’ve interfered with your gas or electricity meters, contact the UK Revenue Protection Association (UKPRA) and report them straight away. The UKRPA is a trade association that’s involved with detecting and dealing with electricity and gas meter tampering and stealing of gas or electricity supplies.If you think they have somehow interfered with your internal wiring, report them to the police and take legal advice.

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My next door neighbour of a semi-detached house completely gutted the down stairs area of the house stripping away all the flooring and litterally made the floor drop to the earth before refitting the wooden floors, I had a nose one night when the builders had gone and saw the wiring was all pulled out where the plugs were and on closer inspection you can dee the metal conduit supplying my house which has plugs similarly located. My question is, is there a plug in device whereby I can plug into myside a power usage reader and i can go along all my border wall plug sockets to see if power is being drawn from those sockets only? Note, I have one of those green....amber...red smart meter indicators and I can sit a night watching the tv and notice the light change from green to amber regularly with everything except the fridge & tv turned off?,& no i dont use electricity for heating as its gas! I had loads of rows with those noisy builders & wonder if they have had the last laugh? any information would be highly appreciated
Jay - 27-Nov-19 @ 6:52 PM
A former downstairs neighbour named Stuart Miller has been cheating me and my handsome fiancé Kenny Whyte out of our joint savings money,falsely claiming he bought the garden seat bench out of his money &,claiming he thinks he going to be conned out of his money and he was going to sell my dad's new garden seat bench for £10 to drug-addict Ross who attacked him. Disrespectful former downstairs Neighbour Stuart Miller is a bully,liar,thief,bank Fraudster and conman and he has OCD!.
Suzybear - 26-Nov-19 @ 12:42 PM
How about The nextdoor neighbours not only have access to all of my digital equipment hardware and softwares emails, telephones etc they have control via WiFi they also have influencers to get you sectioned with Paranoia... So not only they harassed me mentally with their childish games,they have given me a medical condition!... Its called character assassination via DWP or my local council or top universities Be careful of covert operations for benefit or wtfas that's the result on your medical files Now I can't adopt or work thank you allllllllllllllllllll Before she moved in I was happy....
Sam - 3-Oct-19 @ 6:56 PM
My neighbors have been stealing my Wi-Fi they have my iCloud information they break into my home and steal my tools and destroy my property such as my garage door opener in my garage door etc. whom do I contact or can you help me
Nate - 13-Sep-19 @ 6:54 AM
Why is it no one listens these days? If you have an intruder you need a visual before anybody does anything. So asking questions like why are my bills higher than usual when I am a woman living alone, everyone thinks its normal cos bills go up. Then when you find out your neighbour has been accessing your home over two years you begin to put the jigsaw together. Whilst I'm trying to tell people this the intruders realise I am on to them and start to dismantle all the crazy stuff they had done in my home, so when I take action to secure my property its too late to catch them and you realise that for over two years you have paid their bills and lived along side them entering your home when ever they felt like it. It makes me so angry that people like this feel entitled to help themselves and create havoc on another human being and then get away with it. Put me in the middle of a field with no neighbours and would be happy.
Looly - 5-Jul-19 @ 11:50 AM
We have lived in our small village for almost 10 years, strangely after we signed up for Waitrose cards neither of us ever received any mail from them!Then a week or two ago our regular postman came with a letter addressed to us but with next door neighbours address on!The postman had crossed through the first line of the address and said 'I brought it round as knew it was for you' So just who changed the address? worrying, as to why on earth would we write our neighbours address down instead of ours! and how long has this mail been going to next doors and never made it to us before? In this day and age of identity theft! I know next door daughter hates me but this is surely illegal etc?? tampering with mail/fraud/identity theft??
JJ67 - 14-May-19 @ 7:16 PM
I believe neighbors with a key andbeen stealing things from my home intermittently and repeatively since september.In process of doing an inventory of missing items.They also have gone into my car.I am single and they ( couples) want me to move (all have said it)and blame me for the letters they received to park by the bylaws: i amon the board, have talked nicely to one and was called an asswhole. He other husbands have askedwhy dont Imove. So one had the key and knew what was in my loft; gave key to one of the husbands who said to meid loveto go through your loft. I Never thoughtbto change my locks cuz ive kniwn theepeople close to 30 yars, except for theyounger couple in theirvthirties, whomhave been quite rude: Imam over 60 and ADD so not most organized house and my neighbor wh gavekey knew never wanted these people in my house. I believethey sold my household products ( i bought to sell in retirement). So anybsuggestions.I now have an alarm system
M - 14-Apr-19 @ 3:43 PM
I have audio recordings proving my neighbour is entering my home via the attic latch, which means he's accessing the partition wall which I believe is the firewall. The wall has 3 panels and seems to be pretty solid when checked but there is no other explanation how he gets into my side of attic. Would cameras pick anything up being the attic is dark, I need visual proof for police to do anything.
Looly - 22-Mar-19 @ 2:37 AM
My neighbors are doing some work for the landlord and are down on my part several times a week. She has learned when I am home and when I am not. I have come up missing lawn mowers gas cans and several things out of my shed. I have spoken to the landlord about this and locked it all up. Things going missing only stops for a while but never totally stops. Any ideals would be helpful.
At witts end - 5-Mar-19 @ 10:25 PM
I live in a building where there are 2 store fronts that hooked up to our furnace. Is there anyone I can call. There is no heat coming up to the bathroom kicken and living room and dining room
Littlecraig - 31-Jan-19 @ 9:13 PM
My neighbour has a dog which roams around the communal hallway unsupervised. It has defeated twice on my big door mat. Their response was to leave it there all day. Next time my replacement rug was thrown into front garden by them. Disgusting! They never clean up when it fouls up the garden.
Baba - 14-Jan-19 @ 9:12 PM
I ordered some nail products from Cuccio and the delivery driver never knocked on my door or left a calling card, so when my parcel didn't arrive, I contacted the company. Cuccio told me a neighbour signed for it and according to said neighbour, she told the driver the parcel wasn't hers, yet her signature is on record. I have police records showing this neighbour is a bully, tried to make my life hell and all of that. Now nobody seems to be doing anything that I'm not only short of £34.88, but I have no goods to show for it. Police tell me it's a civil matter and won't do a bloody thing nor will they tell me my rights. The delivery company won't respond at all and I'm at a complete loss as what the hell I'm supposed to do.
Jude - 7-Sep-18 @ 12:43 PM
My neighbour has a number of dogs; 2 Presa Cararias, a Doberman, a labrador, a small lap dog, etc.These roam free on his half-acre plot and are a nuisance to passers-by and neighbours.They bark very loudly from early morning (often starting at before 5am) for hours.If I go out in my garden they bark at me constantly.He also has a large number of birds which, while not a nuisance, are also noisy.I have spoken to the neighbour and all I get is excuses like, 'they just like company', etc.I have texted him when the problem is really bad and also sent him a formal letter, appealing for his help as the problem is affecting our sleep and peace.No response or action taken except the barking reduced for a few days, then back to 'normal'.I have spoken to the local council who were not very helpful and said I needed to keep a detailed diary for a month before they would consider doing anything.Other neighbours are fed up and walkers, cyclists and others are often intimidated by these large aggressive animals.The neighbour says the dogs are just 'softies' and are no danger but if one got out I really worry what it would do.The neighbour is out from early morning to late at night and away many weekends.The barking is destroying our sleep, making us tired and unwell.I don't want to get into a legal wrangle with a neighbour but I just don't know what to do next.Please can you advise.
Sunshine - 24-Aug-18 @ 8:21 AM
Caught my neighbour in my yard stealing my firewood, Went to the police station and they said I shouldn’t have waited but called the police straight away, I live on my own I’m frightened what they may do when I go out to the shops, or anywhere, they might posion my animals. What do I do please.
Maggie - 1-Aug-18 @ 1:15 PM
Sarny - Your Question:
My gas a electric is being stolen I've han no heating on for months as my meter is in the living room I smell gass on a rare. occasion I use a key that you get money on I changes supplier never been right since owed on my meter is up to about £51.00 I av never known this in my life so I can't afford heat my husband died it got worse gas a electric this flat is freezing my electric meter is outside my front door all the security tags and wires that secure the meter are gone tags are split the door on it as been broken I av found him many times looking to see what credit is on it I knocked alectric off and fuse box all off the meter was still going round I put £10onit went out all day came back £3.50 had gone all the fuses off no power in use at all in my flat it still goes round all I use is t.v fridge and a little light as my lights in my home none work I don't use cooker I found 16 wires in my atic going into next door my husband was in hospital I went to atic wires had gone out wall tied togeathet pushed under wall little aitic bunch wires going into his flat I no who it is the gas meter in living room I was told a pipe is going across through wall into his meter was I a safe place before we moved in it was in a larder in kitchen the larder was blocked off and meter in living room the ceiling in larder was removed why would that happen if nothing g is done I'll rip out both meters my self I av put in up to £35 in one week in only on £42 get why I can't do thanks

Our Response:
Please contact your electricity/Gas supplier and ask them about this. If you are renting, your landlord might also be able to help you.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-Apr-18 @ 11:48 AM
I just told you my electric and gas were being stolen there is other it looks like I'm paying for everyone's water in my block there is four flats when we moved in 3 months later got a bill for £2000 my mail is always open I did keep all tampered with mail I've had my mail put in were the letter is out the envelope others steamed open this includes medical mail bank stuff results to do with medical issues
Sarny - 1-Apr-18 @ 5:49 PM
My gas a electric is being stolen I've han no heating on for months as my meter is in the living room I smell gass on a rare. occasion I use a key that you get money on I changes supplier never been right since owed on my meter is up to about £51.00 I av never known this in my life so I can't afford heat my husband died it got worse gas a electric this flat is freezing my electric meter is outside my front door all the security tags and wires that secure the meter are gone tags are split the door on it as been broken I av found him many times looking to see what credit is on it I knocked alectric off and fuse box all off the meter was still going round I put £10onit went out all day came back £3.50 had gone all the fuses off no power in use at all in my flat it still goes round all I use is t.v fridge and a little light as my lights in my home none work I don't use cooker I found 16 wires in my atic going into next door my husband was in hospital I went to atic wires had gone out wall tied togeathet pushed under wall little aitic bunch wires going into his flat I no who it is the gas meter in living room I was told a pipe is going across through wall into his meter was I a safe place before we moved in it was in a larder in kitchen the larder was blocked off and meter in living room the ceiling in larder was removed why would that happen if nothing g is done I'll rip out both meters my self I av put in up to £35in one week in only on £42get why I can't dothanks
Sarny - 1-Apr-18 @ 5:31 PM
2016 I noticed post missing. I called police as I amsuspuvious of a neighbour. 5 arrived! Made all excuses!Nov. 2017 noticed I did not receive bank statements etc.also marks on my modern post box, so today I went to GET DETAILS FOR COLLECTING MYSELF.physco.behaviour.grrr.
Chez - 6-Jan-18 @ 12:50 AM
@red in having the exact same prob, the vibrating hum line a generator or tile cutter, sort of sound and pretty sure downstairs are siphoning my electric ??
Blondie - 13-Nov-17 @ 7:51 PM
My concerns are what are my nieghbours up to regarding electricity and Gas, 3 years on a nightly basis a heavy drone sets in with vibrations intruding my home I suffer sleep deprivation and feel vibrations like a deasel engine idling, I do notice a grey smog being emmited from their gas flue quite often, and they do run a power cable between their shed and home that powers a halogen heater and perhaps the radio which is often on..the nightly drone and vibrations have been picked up on environmental monitoring equipment my health has suffered greatly I can only discibe the vibrations which run through my mattress and body as hell I'm sure they have tampered with the utility supply. .
Red - 16-Oct-17 @ 9:08 PM
Neighbour cancelled my BT engineer appointments and then accused ME of trying to cancel her telephone line - I hadn't - but BT still suspected she was using my line.
Drained - 11-Sep-17 @ 5:07 PM
Drained - Your Question:
Water: while I was away, neighbour dug up my private drive, replacing it with bad paving, seems to have done something to the concealed water, waste and possibly gas pipes following their route up to the building. Now the water tastes bad which could be unhealthy, I don't know if it is being taken (it isn't metered) and the gas bills since seem larger than they should be. This neighbour has done similar things before. How could I prove it without destroying the building?

Our Response:
Ask the water to board to take a look (the can sometimes do this with special cameras etc). Private legal action for compensation against your neighbour for damage to your private property? Question your utility bills with the provider and mention that the neighbour may have interfered (though it's unlikely that they could have done this gas pipes to be honest)
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Aug-17 @ 12:49 PM
Water: while I was away, neighbour dug up my private drive, replacing it with bad paving, seems to have done something to the concealed water, waste and possibly gas pipes following their route up to the building.Now the water tastes bad which could be unhealthy, I don't know if it is being taken (it isn't metered) and the gas bills since seem larger than they should be.This neighbour has done similar things before.How could I prove it without destroying the building?
Drained - 7-Aug-17 @ 9:05 PM
Neighbours talked enthusiastically about powerline adapters, when I installed them to resolve patchy Internet, I heard my neighbour roar 'they're not compatible', he was visibly astonished and furious: his attempt on that occasion to steal my wifi thwarted.
Drained - 22-Apr-17 @ 1:29 AM
I topped £155 of electricity between November 3rd 2016 until November 27th 2016 less than a month. I topped £50 over a 6day period I live in a two bedroom flat with my son and I work 9-5 Monday to Friday. My workplace is a hour away from my home so as you can imagine I spend more time away from home than I do in the home. I have reported this matter on several occasions and nothing is being done about it. I am so financially drained I cannot afford to live. Moreover, I now believe for certain somebody is bridging my electric, I am not sure how I go about finding them out! If anyone could help I would really appreciate. Thanks, Khadz.
Khadz - 9-Dec-16 @ 9:08 AM
FEDUPNEIGHBOUR - Your Question:
The flat I live in is a property that's split into 3 flats. I rent through a letting agency, the problem neighbour owns the property downstairs. Initial problems started with her not agreeing to us having fibre optic internet service and had cancelled 2 of our appointments to get it connected. We have been living there 5 months now with no WIFI. We have now got another service to come fix us up. Spoken to her a few times but generally avoids us and contradicts herself with different excuses, when we try to ask being this to her attention she runs away. Recent excuse is doesn't want wires running up the front of the house and will be getting rid of the current ones. We have even told her that we will be going with a different firm hoping that this will suffice and not burn any bridges with her and blocking any interference. But today she opened the letter from the company we are due to get WIFI from. I am beyond raging about this, any advice on what I can do or sign post to any advice. I know this is illegal but not an immediate police matter. HELP PLEASE #nightmare neighbour

Our Response:
Firstly contact the letting agency and/or the owner of your flat. How has she managed to cancel your appointments? If she is opening your post your should make a formal complain to the Royal Mail- they’ll investigate. Keep the envelopeas evidence and send it with your complaint to Royal Mailcustomer services. It won't do any harm to mention that it was your neighbour that opened it. Unless you require access via your neighbour's property, just go ahead and sort out the internet connection with another firm.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Sep-16 @ 1:02 PM
The flat I live in is a property that's split into 3 flats.I rent through a letting agency, the problem neighbour owns the property downstairs.Initial problems started with her not agreeing to us having fibre optic internet service and had cancelled 2 of our appointments to get it connected.We have been living there 5 months now with no WIFI.We have now got another service to come fix us up.Spoken to her a few times but generally avoids us and contradicts herself with different excuses, when we try to ask being this to her attention she runs away.Recent excuse is doesn't want wires running up the front of the house and will be getting rid of the current ones.We have even told her that we will be going with a different firm hoping that this will suffice and not burn any bridges with her and blocking any interference.But today she opened the letter from the company we are due to get WIFI from. I am beyond raging about this, any advice on what I can do or sign post to any advice.I know this is illegal but not an immediate police matter.HELP PLEASE #nightmare neighbour
FEDUPNEIGHBOUR - 7-Sep-16 @ 3:05 PM
Good morning. I am really tired I don't know what to do anymore. They are more than evi full of robush. I don't know what to do or where else to go...
Esohe - 21-Jun-16 @ 6:32 AM
Sue - Your Question:
We have lived in our property for 18 years and the neighbour has just bought next door we are not joined he is now saying that part of our drive is his maturely he should of had a surveyor and picked up that apparently on the deeds it's classed as no mans land it's about six inches between the garages that my husband now stores logs if the fence is moved over we won't be able to use our drive and no one can use the space between the garages just wondered if there is anything I can do he now has a soliisoter involved

Our Response:
If it's not your neighbour or your (i.e "no mans land") there is a chance you could claim adverse possession, having used it for the past 18 years. You might want to seek advice from a solicitor on this.
ProblemNeighbours - 22-Apr-16 @ 2:42 PM
We have lived in our property for 18 years and the neighbour has just bought next door we are not joined he is now saying that part of our drive is his maturely he should of had a surveyor and picked up that apparently on the deeds it's classed as no mans land it's about six inches between the garages that my husband now stores logs if the fence is moved over we won't be able to use our drive and no one can use the space between the garages just wondered if there is anything I can do he now has a soliisoter involved
Sue - 21-Apr-16 @ 5:27 PM
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