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"Cable television theft is the illegal interception of cable programming services without the express authorization of, or payment to, a cable television system. There are two types of cable theft, passive and active. Passive theft occurs when a consumer receives services due to faulty cable operator procedures. Active theft occurs when someone knowingly and willfully makes an illegal physical connection to the cable system and/or attaches or tampers with equipment to allow the receipt of unauthorized services. Active theft can occur at both a consumer or commercial level. Commercial theft usually happens in an environment where the proprietor receives financial gains from the illegal services (i.e. a bar or restaurant)."
That covers why, or more accurately, why not.
"Sentences in federal and state theft of service cases have ranged from probation to 16 years in prison. Fines and restitution have ranged from several hundred dollars to $2.7 million. Civil judgments have run as high as $245 million."
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