FBI offers $25,000 reward for info substation attacks in Washington, Oregon
SEATTLE - The FBI Seattle and Portland field offices are asking the public's help in identifying people suspected of vandalizing electrical substations in Tumwater, Washington and Oregon City, Oregon.
Early morning on Nov. 22 at the Barneslake Substation in Tumwater, Puget Sound Energy crews found fluid leaking on the ground after one of the radiators of transformers was punctured several times. It caused the substation to go offline for several hours and thousands of customers were without power. Crews also found 9 mm shell casings.
On Nov. 24 before 2 a.m., officials said several reactors were shot at Bonneville Power Administration Ostrander Substation in Oregon City. There was a hole cut in the permitter fence of the yard and bullet holes in several reactors.
"Interfering or tampering with our power grid can have deadly consequences," said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. "An attack like this is not just an inconvenience for home and business owners. Think of medical facilities or vulnerable people who depend on electricity for their health. It’s our hope that by attaching a reward offer, someone who has that missing piece of information we need may be enticed to come forward."
The FBI will be offering up to $25,000 for information on the suspect(s) identity, arrest and conviction.
"Attacks on power grid substations have gripped our nation’s attention in recent months because of the devastating threat they pose to our infrastructure. Entire communities - hospitals, schools, and local businesses - might conceivably be incapacitated for many days," said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. "The FBI continues to work diligently not only to identify and arrest those responsible for these wanton acts but also to disrupt any future criminal plots which might wreak even greater havoc to our community. Presently, we remain unclear on the motive for their actions. However, we do understand fully their catastrophic potential. Consequently, apprehension of those responsible must be a top priority for law enforcement, and this is why we are now urgently requesting our citizens’ help in identifying those responsible."
In December, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said multiple power stations were "attacked" and caused power outages for thousands of people.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. If you have any information concerning the Oregon City case, please contact the FBI Portland Field Office at 503-224-4181.