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Kaysville police aim to shut down ‘powerboxing’ prank

Kaysville residents and police aren’t laughing about the latest prank to the hit the city. “Powerboxing” — where pranksters turn off residents’ power at the meter is not only annoying, it’s potentially dangerous for both victims and pranksters.
Derek Petersen, Deseret News

KAYSVILLE — Teenagers have been pranking Kaysville residents by turning off their power at the meter, police say.

But residents — and officers — aren’t laughing. Not only is “powerboxing” annoying, it’s potentially dangerous for both victims and pranksters.

The prank is becoming commonplace, according to Kaysville police officer Lexi Benson.

Recent security footage from a camera shows three juveniles walking to the side of one home and turning off the power. They can even be heard counting down.

The video goes dark, but the home’s electricity doesn’t stay off for long.

The resident said their generator turned on automatically after about 10 seconds, and if the prankster had still had his hand on the equipment, they could have been electrocuted.

One Kaysville woman who said she doesn’t want to be identified out of concern that it could happen again, said when her family’s power was turned off, she and her husband thought they were about to get robbed.

“All of our smoke, fire alarms started going off,” she said, “and it woke us up.”

Her husband is a concealed firearms permit holder and he was ready to defend the family.

“He immediately went to the safe and got his gun,” the woman said. “And that’s a very dangerous practice for these young kids.”

There was no confrontation between the woman’s husband and the pranksters.

Another resident who uses medical equipment was also affected when someone recently turned off the power.

“They use a CPAP machine at night,” Benson said. “They were awoken when the power was turned off because they couldn’t breathe. Their oxygen was turned off.”

“So it’s not a victimless prank,” she added. “And we don’t find it funny.”

Benson said the powerboxing prank has happened multiple times this week in the Mountain Vistas neighborhood. She said it’s a common problem in the city, and police are treating the incidents as criminal mischief.

The powerbox tampering happens mostly in the evening hours, she said. If victims want to pursue the matter, the perpetrators, if caught, could face criminal charges in juvenile court.

In the meantime, authorities are urging residents to put a padlock on their powerboxes.

Contributing: Mike Anderson