The FBI is investigating after another North Carolina power substation was allegedly vandalized by gunfire, police say.
EnergyUnited said officials received an alert early Tuesday morning of an “equipment issue” at the Pleasant Hill Substation in Randolph County. The company immediately dispatched crews to the area. Upon arrival, officials determined the substation transformer had been damaged by “an apparent gunshot,” according to EnergyUnited. No customers have been affected by the damage, the company reported.
Vice President of Energy Delivery Steve McCachern said while there were no service interruptions, “we take this matter very seriously and are currently investigating the incident.”
The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a “vandalism,” and crime scene investigators were dispatched to the scene, according to a press release from the department. The FBI also received a notification, and the Bureau’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is currently conducting an investigation into the alleged vandalism. Authorities say the incident likely occurred around 3:00 a.m., but provided no other details.
A nearby substation in Moore County, North Carolina, was damaged by gunfire in December, leaving some 40,000 people without power. Two substations in the county were hit by gunfire in an “intentional” and “targeted” attack, prompting a criminal investigation, police said. No suspect or suspects have been arrested. (RELATED: Worldwide Coal Use Set To Hit An All-Time High Due To Energy Crisis)
As of 6 a.m., more than 33,000 people in Moore County remained without power after an attack on the power grid. Thank you to all of the public and private-sector workers who are working on this and providing shelter and essential services to those in danger due to this attack. pic.twitter.com/yGiARFmwsZ
— NC Retired Governmental Employees’ Association (@NCRGEA) December 5, 2022
Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said the individual(s) reportedly responsible for December’s attacks “knew exactly what they were doing.”
A similar incident occurred in Washington state, where police charged two men with attacking four power substations that left thousands without power on Christmas Day.