‘Powerboxing’: Shutting Power Off To Homes Is Not A Harmless Prank, Police Say

Jan 2, 2020, 1:58 PM | Updated: 2:49 pm

KAYSVILLE, Utah – “Powerboxing” may seem like a harmless prank, but police said it’s not a victimless crime.

According to the Kaysville Police Department, juveniles have been sneaking onto people’s property, accessing the home’s main outdoor power switch, and shutting off electricity to the house.

One resident said when the prank happened to her, she worried the kids could have been hurt when the house’s high-powered backup generator kicked on.

In a home security video, at least three juveniles who appear to be teenagers can be seen walking to the side of a house. One of them counts down before shutting off the power. The video goes dark, but the home’s electricity didn’t stay off for long.

The resident said the generator turned on automatically after about 10 seconds, and if the prankster had still had his hand on the equipment, he could have been electrocuted.

A resident who uses medical equipment at a different household was also affected when someone turned off their power.

“They use a CPAP machine at night,” said KPD officer Lexi Benson. “They were awoken when the power was turned off because they couldn’t breathe. Their oxygen was turned off.”

“It’s not a victimless prank,” she added.

Benson said the powerboxing prank has happened multiple times this week in the Mountain Vistas neighborhood. She said it’s a common problem in the city, and police are treating the incidents as criminal mischief.

The powerbox tampering happens mostly in the evening hours, she said. If victims want to pursue charges, the perpetrators will face charges in juvenile court.

In the meantime, authorities are urging residents to lock their powerboxes.

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‘Powerboxing’: Shutting Power Off To Homes Is Not A Harmless Prank, Police Say