Late last month, a Bonneville Power Administration worker discovered thieves had broken into a Bonneville Power Administration substation in Kent, Washington, 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 at the Covington Substation at 28401 Covington Way SE, Kent, Wash. The perpetrators cut a hole in the substation fence and stole copper wire cut from equipment. The damage is estimated at $5,000.

“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.

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.”