Police in Texas booked a furry bandit into custody for allegedly causing two citywide power outages in the span of three days.
A raccoon found its way to the electrical grid substation in Seguin, Texas, on Saturday night, causing a citywide power outage. Power was restored early Sunday morning, but it was knocked out again Monday evening, reportedly by the same raccoon. Seguin police posted a press release on Facebook announcing that the suspect had been taken into custody, and included a photograph of the masked marauder, whom they dubbed “Ricky Raccoon.”
“On October 1, 2022 at approximately 11:45 pm, the City of Seguin experienced a city wide power outage,” Seguin police wrote. “After further investigation, the suspect was described as a black & white male, approximately 2-09, 35 lbs. On October 3, 2022 at approximately 8:45 pm, the City of Seguin’s East substation was struck again by the electric bandits. Through the assistance of Seguin Electric Department, Police took Ricky Raccoon (3, Seguin) into custody. Ricky would not advise if he had further accomplices in his act. This is an on going investigation, and city departments are working to assure our furry￼ bandits do not strike again.”
Hundreds of residents were left without power after the raccoon somehow made its way into a substation transformer on October 1, police told the San Antonio Express-News.
City officials said the incident occurred when the animal climbed onto a high-voltage wire and touched a part of the circuit that was grounded, causing the outage. Power crews from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the city’s Electric Department had power restored to the city by around 1:30 a.m. local time.
Then on October 3, residents lost power again after another raccoon got into the substation transformer on the east side of the city. Police said in another social media post at around 9 p.m., via the Express-News, that LCRA and Electric Department crews were working to restore the power.
Jennifer Sourdillia, a spokesperson for the city of Seguin, said the exact same thing happened in a different part of the substation. Power was restored after about an hour on Monday night. Sourdillia explained that the city has a contingency plan for events like this. “If this occurs, the city of Seguin has a plan in place, typically for emergencies, that allows us to feed circuits from a different substation to restore power to our customers in a timely manner.” The spokeswoman said that it was two separate raccoons that were behind the two incidents; both of those raccoons have died.
While it is unusual that multiple incidents would happen in such a short span of time, Sourdillia told local news outlet Seguin Today that it does happen. “Although, it is a little bit rare, it does happen. It does happen in other communities. It just hasn’t really normally happened here in Seguin very often and it’s just kind of ironic that it happened in two different incidents very close together in the same timeframe which is really unusual,” said Sourdellia.
In total, some 14,500 residents lost power on Saturday night, and another 2,200 lost power on Monday.