About 14,000 customers were affected in Puyallup and Graham, Washington, on Sunday after thieves vandalized three power substations belonging to Tacoma Public Utilities and Puget Sound Energy, police said.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement Sunday that no suspects are in custody at this time.
The sheriff’s department said their agency first received a report of a burglary at a Tacoma Public Utilities substation at 5:26 a.m. PT.
According to the statement, “Deputies arrived at the scene and observed that there had been forced entry into the fenced area.” “Nothing was taken from the substation, but the suspect sabotaged the equipment, causing a power outage in the area.”
The statement said Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were alerted to a report of a second burglary at another Tacoma Public Utilities substation, which also entered with damage to equipment. Nothing took off like the first substation.
“At 11:25 we were notified by Puget Sound Energy that they also had a power outage at 02:39 this morning. Deputies are currently at the facility where a fenced area was breached and equipment was broken into,” the statement continued.
“Deputies are conducting a preliminary investigation at this time. We don’t have any suspects in custody. It is unknown whether there was a motive or if this was a coordinated attack on the power system,” the statement said.
The Seattle Division of the FBI told CNN on Sunday that it was aware of these reports, but declined to confirm or deny its role in any investigation, adding, “We take threats to our infrastructure very seriously.” And we urge anyone with information to contact law enforcement.”
The city of Puyallup is located 10 miles south of Tacoma. Graham is located 16 miles south of Tacoma.