The culprits do not belong to leftist groups, according to the Associated Press, nor did they conduct their act in the name of ending fossil fuels.
Matthew Greenwood and Jeremy Crahan were arrested by police for conducting vandalism on Washington state’s power grid leaving thousands of residents without power on Christmas Day. The reasons for their crimes are demonstrate people who are involved in crime aren’t the smartest people in the world. From CBS News:
A newly unsealed complaint charged both with conspiracy to damage energy facilities, and it charged Greenwood with possession of a short-barreled rifle and a short-barreled shotgun. Cellphone location data and other evidence tied them to the attacks on the four substations in Pierce County, the complaint said.
The attacks on Dec. 25 left more than 15,000 customers without power. Officials have warned that the U.S. power grid needs better security to prevent domestic terrorism and after a large outage in North Carolina last month took days to repair.
According to the complaint, Greenwood told investigators after his arrest that the two knocked out power so they could burglarize a business and steal from the cash register. The business was not identified in the complaint.
Their crime is punishable for up to twenty years and, according to CBS News, Greenwood and Crahan were also caught with unregistered firearms which may also enhance both suspect’s prison sentences. The F.B.I. used cell phone data during their investigation and the suspect’s devices were identified to be in the vicinity of the substations at the time of the attacks.
The frequency of electric substation attacks have increased recently and have been conducted across the country. Fortunately, federal regulators have already ordered a review of electric grid security. Though the two men having been caught is good, no doubt eco-terrorists have taken notes from their acts since the criminals have demonstrated the vulnerability of the U.S. electric grid and substations. Ending grid vulnerabilities can’t come soon enough.