A reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrests of the person or persons responsible for a series of attacks on power grid facilities in Central Arkansas is being offered by the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent Kimberly F. Brunell said in a news release Monday that the latest attack occurred Monday morning when First Arkansas Electric Cooperative reported that two of its power poles in the 1400 block of Robin Road — behind the McBride Substation in Lonoke County — were intentionally cut. A power outage resulted, affecting about 10,000 customers in the Cabot area.
On Sept. 29 in the early morning hours, officials with Entergy Arkansas reported a fire at its Keo substation located on Arkansas Highway 165 between Scott and England in Lonoke County. No injuries were reported and there were no reported power outages.
Brunell said an investigation determined that the fire, which destroyed the control house of the substation, was intentionally set, and a message reading "You Should Have Expected Us" was inscribed on a metal control panel outside the substation. A photograph of that message was also released by the FBI.
Authorities are investigating the possibility that those two incidents are related and are also related to the intentional downing of a high voltage transmission line near Cabot on Aug. 21.
The FBI released a photo of an item found near the scene of the downed Cabot power line. It depicts a cable with an attached eyebolt that was connected to the tower by the unknown suspect(s) in an attempt to utilize a moving train to bring down the tower.
"We believe this cable, which shows signs of use and wear, could have been surplused, salvaged or even stolen," Brunell said in the news release. "The diameter of this cable measures one-half inch, and the attached eyebolt is 15 inches long. We believe that someone may recognize this cable and encourage anyone with information about this item to contact us.
"Though we remain confident that we will identify the person or persons responsible for these incidents, we are enlisting the public’s help to be our eyes and ears," she said. "We take threats to our power grid very seriously. With the media’s help, we feel certain that the public will play a vital role in helping us bring those responsible for these incidents to justice."
To report information, contact the Little Rock Field Office of the FBI at (501) 221-9100 or Little.Rock@ic.fbi.gov