Vandals cut, steal newly installed EV charging station cables for second time in a month

SUMNER, Wash. — Newly installed electric chargers in Sumner are already out of commission, after thieves cut the cables!

The chargers were just unveiled by Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse one week ago.

It marks the second time these cables have been cut in less than two months. PSE had to delay their original grand opening last month, because the chargers were snipped just a few weeks before.

“Went through about a year’s worth of construction and unfortunately, this is what happened,” said Dave Radcliffe, the CEO of The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse.

It was a frustrating sight for Radcliffe after seeing all of that time and energy gone overnight.

The cables were completely clipped on Tuesday.

It happened just a few days after Puget Sound Energy opened the Sumner location as the first public EV charging station in Pierce County. It was unveiled to the public in partnership with the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse.

“It’s hard, you know, we’re bringing such a valuable asset to the community in partnership with the city and PSE. It’s just sad.”

The city says it not only benefits drivers, but the community as whole.

“This amenity for this growing population who are driving electric vehicles. Great spot, we’re here halfway to Mount Rainier from Seattle. So for a lot of reasons, very exciting,” said Carmen Palmer who is the PIO with Sumner Police Department.

Palmer says this theft also cut off business.

“Any vandalism, any loss for anybody is just so frustrating,” she added. “It took away an amenity that could’ve helped our local small businesses.”

There’s no saying why this happened until a suspect is caught, but the Department of Energy says charging cables are full of valuable copper wire.

It’s a problem that Puget Sound Energy is keeping an eye on.

In a statement, PSE responded to KIRO 7:

We are saddened by the act of vandalism at our newly opened Sumner EV charging station. These stations are sited in well-lit, well-traveled areas to help with security, however, they also need to be accessible and open to the public.

Recent state legislation requires that metal recyclers treat EV charging cables as commercial scrap, meaning information on the person turning it in is logged. PSE is working with local law enforcement and the property owner on investigating and possible additional security measures.

PSE is working to replace the cables to the charging station, which is a valuable asset to the community to help support EV drivers living in more rural areas. The station originally cost more than $500,000 to install.

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