TACOMA, Wash. - The Pierce County Sheriff's Department (PCSD) is investigating burglaries to Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) power stations that caused power outages for thousands of customers throughout the day on Sunday.
Around 9 a.m., TPU tweeted that two power stations were "attacked" in Pierce County.
When deputies arrived at both of the power station sites, they didn't find any suspects, but fences had been cut and equipment was damaged.
TPU did not specify the extent of the damage, or what was actually damaged. Deputies say nothing was taken from either site.
PCSD later said that there were four reported burglarized or vandalized power stations-- two that serviced Tacoma Public Utilities and two that serviced Puget Sound Energy. This caused power outages to around 14,000 customers in total between the two agencies. Power has already been restored at the PSE site.
Most of the vandalism happened in the morning, but the fourth was reported around 7:20 p.m. This time, the station was set on fire, which deputies say was set intentionally. This fire knocked out power to Kapowsin and Graham residents.
As of Christmas night, TPU told FOX 13 that testing shows the damage was so severe to its substations that several hundred customers won't have their power restored until closer to 8 a.m. Monday.
It's unknown if there are any motives or if this was a coordinated attack on the power systems.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is continuing to investigate. Anyone who sees someone or something suspicious near a power facility is urged to call 911 and report it right away.