Share story

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The former owner of several Massachusetts laundromats has been found guilty of stealing more than $200,000 worth of natural gas by tampering with meters.

Steven Bankert, of North Attleborough, was convicted Wednesday of 10 counts of willful injury or interference with a gas meter and six counts of larceny.

Prosecutors say the 60-year-old Bankert, a formerly licensed electrician, manipulated gas meters at six laundromats he owned in Attleboro, Brockton, Lawrence and Worcester between 2008 and 2012. Prosecutors say Bankert stole more than $200,000 from Columbia Gas and NStar.

An investigation began after Columbia Gas filed a complaint.

Bankert had previously been convicted of stealing water from the Attleboro Water Department in 2008. The conviction was later overturned.