Anti-capitalist graffiti found at vandalized power line site

MALTBY — A bulldozer was stolen early Wednesday morning from a work site near Highway 522 and driven into the base of a power-line tower, damaging it but not bringing it down. The FBI has taken over the investigation.

Anti-capitalism and radical environmentalist graffiti was spray-painted at the scene and on nearby structures, according to the Bonneville Power Administration, which operates the transmission line.

Service was not affected by the incident, said Mike Hansen, a BPA spokesman.

Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies secured the site after it was reported late Wednesday morning.

The case was handed over to the FBI because an important part of the regional energy grid was intentionally damaged and, based on the graffiti, the attack could have been ideologically inspired, said Ayn Dietrich-Williams, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Seattle division.

The graffiti included the phrase “#killcap” — an anti-capitalism slogan — and “ELF,” the acronym for the extreme environmentalist Earth Liberation Front. The group has claimed credit or is suspected of being behind several attacks in Snohomish County in recent years. The incidents include knocking down two radio towers in 2009 near Snohomish, burning three model homes near Maltby the previous year and more arson fires around Snohomish and Monroe in 2004.

The 500-kilovolt power line connects two substations — Echo Lake and Monroe — and feeds local utilities, which provide power to consumers, said Hansen, the BPA spokesman.

Knocking down the tower could have started a fire and likely would have killed anyone in the immediate vicinity, but it wouldn’t have knocked out power, he said. “This was dumb for a lot of reasons.”

“There are redundancies built into the system. We can move power around,” Hansen said.

BPA crews are repairing the tower and were expected to be finished by Saturday.

Anyone with information about the attack can call the FBI at 206-622-0460.

Any tips could help, said Dietrich-Williams, the FBI spokeswoman.

“Maybe you heard something or saw a neighbor come home early Wednesday with spray paint on their hands.”

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454;; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A wanted suspect was arrested after a standoff with law enforcement Tuesday night. (Bothell Police Department)
Kidnapping suspect arrested after standoff in Bothell

A large police presence contained the property in the 20500 block of 32nd Dr. SE on Tuesday night.

Community Transit's Lynnwood microtransit pilot project is set to launch this fall with a service area around the Alderwood mall. (Community Transit)
Lynnwood’s microtransit test begins this fall, others possible

Community Transit could launch other on-demand services in Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens.

Doctor Thomas Robey sits in a courtyard at Providence Regional Medical Center on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
‘It’d be a miracle’: Providence tests new treatment for meth addiction

Monoclonal antibodies could lead to the first drug designed to fight meth addiction. Everett was chosen due to its high meth use.

Rev. Barbara Raspberry, dressed in her go-to officiating garments, sits in the indoor chapel at her home, the Purple Wedding Chapel, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Everett, Washington. The space used to be two bedrooms, but she and her husband Don took down a wall converted them into a room for wedding ceremonies the day after their youngest son moved out over 20 years ago. The room can seat about 20 for in-person ceremonies, plus it serves as a changing room for brides and is the setting for virtual weddings that Raspberry officiates between brides and their incarcerated fiancees at the Monroe Correctional Complex. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s oh-so-colorful Purple Wedding Chapel is in the red

Rev. Rasberry has hitched hundreds of couples over the years. After her husband died, she’s unsure if she can keep the place.

Man dies in motorcycle crash that snarled I-5 in Everett

Washington State Patrol: he tried to speed by another driver but lost control and hit the shoulder barrier.

The Days Inn on Everett Mall Way, which Snohomish County is set to purchase and convert into emergency housing, is seen Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
County OKs hotel-shelter purchases, won’t require drug treatment

Snohomish County Councilmember Nate Nehring efforts failed to delay the vote and failed to require residents to get addiction treatment.

In a nearly empty maternity wing, Chief Administrative Officer Renée Jensen talks about how it has been almost nine years since east-county mothers could give birth at EvergreenHealth Monroe on Monday, April 1, 2019 in Monroe, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
EvergreenHealth Monroe seeks Community Advisors to guide services

Applications for the volunteer positions are due by Sept. 16.

1 dead in fire at Arlington RV park

Authorities believe the fatal fire early Wednesday was an accident.

Patrick Diller, head of community partnerships for Pallet, discusses the Pallet Shelter Pilot Project last June in Everett. (Katie Hayes / Herald file) June 29, 2021
State laws prompt changes in Everett city rules for shelters

The city is considering revisions to issue permits more quickly for emergency shelters.

Most Read