published: Monday, August 26, 2013
Utility sub-station hit by vandals
By BARRY FOSTER
By BARRY FOSTER
LAKE PLACID — Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies and volunteers from the Highlands Park Estates and Lake Placid fire departments were called to a Glades Electric sub-station early Monday morning.
When the first deputy arrived, a white male about 45-50 years of age, driving a maroon colored Ford Crown Victoria with a spotlight attached to the vehicle, yelled out his window to the deputy “they shot it again,” according to a press release from the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office.
The deputy also noted that he passed about 20 vehicles leaving the area as he was driving to it. It is believed there may have been a party in the area.
When the deputy arrived, he found a large fire inside the compound. After the fire was put out by the fire department, Glades Electric employees discovered what they believed to be bullet holes in their equipment.
However, according to Highlands County Sheriff's Office Detective Sgt. Chris Smith, after an examination during daylight hours Glades Electric couldn’t determine the exact cause and manner of the fire and damage.
Glades Electric spokesman Gary McGahee indicated there were “hundreds” of customers without power, although he said it would “be a while” before an exact number was determined.
“They may be out for an extended period of time,” he said. “We have a portable station on site but it will be awhile before we can get it hooked up and online.”
Highlands County Sheriff's detectives, State Fire Marshal's Office and Glades Electric Cooperative are continuing the investigation into determining the cause and manner of the damage.
John Dean from Glades Electric Cooperative has estimated the overall damage and loss could be upwards of $500,000.
Anyone with information pertaining to this incident, including identifying the white male driver of the maroon-in-color Ford Crown Victoria, is asked to contact the HCSO Criminal Investigations Unit at 402-7250 or, to remain anonymous and be eligible for cash reward, call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477) or visit www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com/.