Tacoma, Wash. - Recently, Bonneville Power Administration workers discovered thieves had broken into a Bonneville Power Administration substation in Tacoma, Wash., and stole copper wire. BPA and law enforcement officials are investigating, and BPA is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
The incident occurred between July 11 and July 17 at the South Tacoma substation at 4320 180th Street East in Tacoma. The perpetrators cut a hole in the northwest section of the perimeter fence and stole 50 feet of ground copper wire. The damage is estimated at $5,000. Additionally, Fredrickson Power’s 230-kilovolt cable perimeter fence was cut and thieves stole 10 feet of copper wire. Fredrickson Power has been informed.
“The culprits are not only damaging the electrical infrastructure that keeps our lights on, but they’re also forcing electric ratepayers to cover the costs of this kind of senseless damage and theft,” said Kevin West, BPA physical security specialist.
Through its Crime Witness Program, BPA offers up to $25,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of individuals committing crimes against BPA facilities and infrastructure. Anyone having information is asked to call BPA's confidential and toll-free Crime Witness Hotline at 800-437-2744 or local law enforcement. Tips can also be provided to the Pierce County Sheriff’s office at 253-798-3278.
In 2010, BPA made two $300 awards to individuals who provided tips on thefts BPA experienced in southwest Washington. Since 2006, BPA has paid 12 rewards totaling almost $14,000.
“We’re hoping that this information will help jog the memory of someone who may know about the break in and theft or may have seen something suspicious at the substation,” said West. “Sometimes even small details can help law enforcement officials make significant investigative progress.”
For more details about BPA’s Crime Witness Program, go to: http://www.bpa.gov/corporate/contact/crimewitness/index.cfm