Kaysville police warn teens to quit dangerous prank

Jan 2, 2020, 8:35 PM | Updated: Apr 30, 2024, 10:40 pm

KAYSVILLE, Utah – Residents have spoken out after being victimized by what police believed was a “powerboxing” prank that could have had serious consequences.

The prank involves shutting the power off to a house from it’s exterior power box. Officials with the Kaysville Police Department said they’ve seen multiple houses hit.

One woman, who did not want to be identified for fear of being targeted again, said her very ill daughter was on medical equipment, when the power to her home was suddenly shut off.

Another woman, who did not want to be identified, said she and her husband were convinced that they were about to be robbed.

“All of our smoke (and) fire alarms started going off, and then it triggered the whole house, and then it woke us up,” she said. “I went and started checking the rooms for the kids.”

Having previously lived near Los Angeles, she says her husband noticed their home was the only one on the street that had no power.

“He immediately went to the safe and got his gun,” she said. “I hope they stop what they’re doing before anybody gets seriously injured.”

Fortunately, there was no confrontation that night.

Police said it was just one example of a common prank that’s been running on the west side of town, especially inside the Mountain Vistas subdivision.

Officer Lexi Benson explained how the prank works.

“People have their power boxes on the outsides of their houses, and they’ll go and flip the switch and turn off all of their power,” she said. “It’s not a victimless prank, and we don’t find it funny.” 

In surveillance video that one homeowner shared with KSL, a group of teens could be seen approaching their home.

“This is money,” one teen is heard commenting.

“K. I’ll tell you when to go,” another can be heard saying, before the camera blacks out.

Benson said one homeowner was wearing a CPAP device, which helps keep the airway open for people who suffer from sleep apnea, when it happened to them.

“They were awoken when the power was turned off, because they couldn’t breathe,” Benson said.

On top of the potential dangers, Benson said the culprits could face trouble with police.

“If these victims want to pursue charges, these juveniles will be going to juvenile court for criminal mischief charges,” Benson said.

Officer Benson said homeowners can put a padlock on the power box, to discourage this kind of thing. If it happens to you, they recommend calling police.

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Kaysville police warn teens to quit dangerous prank