5 arrested for breaking into Tacoma power vault

Jun 6, 2023, 1:49 PM

Tacoma power vault...

Overhead power cables. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Tacoma Police say they’ve arrested five people who were allegedly breaking into a Tacoma power vault Monday.

A power vault, also called a service box, is an underground room into which electrical or telecommunications cables are pulled, terminated, connected, and serviced.

Police said the individuals had cut through a fence and were using a grinding tool on the Tacoma Public Utility power vault on South Tyler Street when the police caught them.

“Some of the welds had been ground through, but they were not able to completely get in,” Tacoma Police Public Information Officer Wendy Haddow said.

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Haddow said one of the suspects was armed with a firearm that had the serial number scraped off.

All the suspects were booked for investigation of burglary and vandalism.

“The one with the firearm was also arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm and for removing identifying marks from a firearm,” Haddow said.

Haddow said that investigators don’t know yet if the group is tied to any other crimes.

In January, two men were charged in connection with attacks on four substations in Pierce County on Christmas Day. Seven thousand customers lost power.

Authorities say the men wanted to give themselves “cover” so they could break into local businesses.

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5 arrested for breaking into Tacoma power vault