Criminal Case Serves As Warning to Vandals of TVA Property
April 6, 2010
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Valley Authority Police say the prosecution of a Benton, Ky., man for firing shots at electrical transformers should be a warning to would-be vandals.
Michael Croft, 28, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal mischief for a Sept. 8 incident that severely damaged electrical equipment in
Marshall and Calloway counties in Kentucky for more than an hour.
He was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay $4,340 in restitution.
TVA Police said Croft admitted shooting at electrical equipment in Benton, causing an outage throughout the two counties.
TVA, Murray Electric System and West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. offered a $1,000 reward for information.
“We received a tip that led to Croft’s arrest, but we believe other suspects were involved,” said Lt. Greg Mathis with the TVA Police Homeland Security Unit.
A joint investigation by TVA Police and TVA’s Office of Inspector General led to Croft’s arrest.
“Vandalism is not only a crime, it can be dangerous,” Mathis said.
“Shooting at or damaging power equipment is a risk to anyone nearby because of the potential for hazards like downed wires and debris.”
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.
Scott Brooks, Knoxville (865) 632-8031
TVA News Bureau, Knoxville (865) 632-6000