A major
power outage in the Moore County of North Carolina, USA affected almost 40,000 residents
in the area. The power outage is also being investigated as a criminal
occurrence after signs of potential vandalism at several locations were
discovered by crews, authorities said.

On Saturday, December 3, several areas across the county
began experiencing power outages around 7 p.m., the Moore County Sheriff’s
Office stated in a Facebook post.

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“Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields reports that the mass
power outage across the county is being investigated as a criminal occurrence.
Just after 7 pm on Saturday evening, December 3, 2022, several different
communities across Moore County began experiencing power outages.”, the Facebook
post stated.

Both Moore County Sheriff Ronnie
Fields and Brooks speculated that the outages could have been caused by
vandalism. Brooks however said that he could not further describe the nature of
the crime.

utility companies began responding to the different substations, evidence was
discovered that indicated that intentional vandalism had occurred at multiple
sites.”, the office said.

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Usually, while outages in North Carolina are often
resolved within a few hours, the late-night blackout in Moore County created
a problem for law enforcement.

Facebook post also stated that the law enforcement agencies are providing
further security, writing, “Moore County Sheriff’s Deputies and various other
law enforcement agencies within the county responded to the different areas and
are providing further site security.”

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a field office of the FBI
did not immediately respond to inquiries asking whether investigations on the
outage were underway. However, Brooks said, “We are also investigating signs of potential vandalism
related to the outages.”

police were available on the streets overnight and urged residents to stay

“Officers have been called in to assist,” the Village
of Pinehurst said in a statement. “Please stay off the roads if you can
and treat all intersections as four-way stops.”