Man pleads guilty in cable box battery theft case

photo by: Sara Shepherd

Metal utility boxes at West 21st and Carolina streets are pictured on Friday, April 12, 2019.

A 50-year-old Topeka man has pleaded guilty to felony charges connected to cable box battery thefts.

Quentin Raymond Sowers was initially charged in Douglas County District Court with 30 counts of theft, burglary and property damage, including three counts of theft of batteries and power units valued at more than $1,500 apiece, the Journal-World reported in April. Authorities alleged that he was prying open Midco cable boxes all over Lawrence and stealing the backup batteries that enable the boxes to function during an outage.

photo by: Kansas Department of Corrections

Quentin R. Sowers

On Friday, he pleaded guilty to three counts of felony theft and one count of felony criminal damage, according to Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to the district attorney.

As part of the plea deal, Sowers must agree to pay restitution and serve any court-ordered prison sentence, Wright Kunard said via email. He cannot request a sentencing departure, she said.

A Midco spokeswoman previously told the Journal-World that missing cable box batteries could allow an outage with serious consequences for public safety or other functions that rely on the infrastructure.

Sowers is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29.

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