Three Blackpool takeaways have been stripped of their late-night licences after evidence of electricity meter tampering was found.
South Sea Chinese on Lytham Road in South Shore, Shanghai Chinese on Hawes Side Lane in Marton, and Romero Pizza House on Bond Street, South Shore, were each hauled before town hall licensing panels.
The decision means they cannot open after 11pm at night.
The premises are the latest to be targeted as part of a crackdown on businesses found to have interfered with their electricity supply.
Council enforcement officers are working with Electricity North West to tackle the issue in order to protect legitimate businesses.
Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council cabinet member for public protection, said: “Utility meter tampering is a dangerous crime.
“It is a safety risk and defrauds legitimate businesses who trade fairly and honestly.
“We won’t tolerate it in Blackpool and are working with Electricity North West to clamp down on businesses that do so.
“I’m pleased the committee have again taken strong action and I hope this will serve as a warning to other businesses.”
Sue Turner, revenue assurance manager for Electricity North West, said: “We take meter tampering very seriously and electricity abstraction is a criminal offence and puts the safety of people and property at great risk.
“We will continue to work closely with Blackpool Council to crack down on local businesses such as these as it is unacceptable that honest bill-paying residents across the North West are effectively having to pay for others to have free electricity.”
The premises owners may also now face prosecution as well as large fees to reconnect meters.
All three shops now have 21 days from the date of the decision to appeal.
The cases follow a similar licence review in December which saw the licence for Shop Locally, on Talbot Road, revoked.
Tell tale signs of electricity theft include burn/scratch marks on cables entering meters, burn marks around the base of the meter, rogue looped cables and missing seals.
To report someone who is suspected of electricity theft, call call Electricity North West’s Revenue Protection Service 01772 848 229.