The thieving marijuana growers decided that a good way to increase their profits was to get “free” power.
They literally cut open the rigid metal conduit riser with the un-metered and un-fused conductors. Very gutsy, with no overcurrent protection device this could have been fatal. It was a very clean cut made by a dremel type cutting tool.
They then installed shark-bite type splices directly onto the live wires. This provided them with potentially 100 amps of free power.
They did have a small problem with the grow lights they connected. Some of the wiring overheated and they nearly burned down the house.
It was a really old electrical service and this could have contributed to the fire.
In cases like this the utility “caps” the electrical meter until permitted electrical repairs have been made by a licensed electrical contractor. All inspections must be signed off too.