A call was received at 5:26 am reporting a burglary at the Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) Substation at 22312 46th Avenue East, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department (PCSD).
Responding deputies noticed a forced entry into the fenced area upon arrival. PCSD said nothing had been taken from the substation, but the suspect vandalized the equipment which caused the outage.
Deputies also responded to a second break-and-enter to a TPU substation at 8820 224th Street East, where there were also signs of forced entry and damage to equipment.
No suspects are in custody, and PCSD said that the motive is currently unknown.
At approximately 2:39 am a third site showed a break-and-enter and was also vandalized, according to PCSD.
According to Puget Sound Energy, its substation at 10915 144th Street East showed a break-and-enter had been made.
At 7:21 pm a fourth site caught fire after someone intentionally started a fire at the Puget Sound Energy substation at 14320 Kapowsin Hwy E.
TPU said in an update at 5:57 pm that only 900 customers remained without power, though that was before the fourth incident.
Earlier this month it was revealed in a federal law enforcement memo that "Power companies in Oregon and Washington have reported physical attacks on substations using hand tools, arson, firearms, and metal chains possibly in response to an online call for attacks on critical infrastructure."
"In recent attacks, criminal actors bypassed security by cutting the fence links, lighting nearby fires, shooting equipment from a distance, or throwing objects over the fence and onto equipment."
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