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Teens caught shutting off power to Ahwatukee homes

Posted at 9:36 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 00:21:06-05

AHWATUKEE, AZ — Some worry this prank may be a lot more dangerous than a ding-dong ditch.

Several homes in Ahwatukee suddenly lost power just before Christmas, including Cheryl Stice's home just off 48th Street and Ray Road.

“We walked outside and the first thing we noticed is the door for the electric box was wide open and the switch had been flipped," said Stice.

Worried, she and her partner went back inside, called their neighbors and Phoenix police. Stice says they searched her home and were unsure if the person who turned their lights out tried getting inside.

“It was a very scary feeling and I’d hate for other people to have to go through it," she added.

Monday, another neighbor shared video of that night with her community. Security cameras outside her home captured two teens circling her cul-de-sac, then walking up to a home.

The video shows the teens pointing a light at a home, then shows the lights go out. Seconds later, those teens take off down a nearby alleyway.

“It made me even more aware that I needed to take a look at some things around the house to make sure that there’s not easy access for people to get to it," said Stice.

Stice says since that day, several other neighbors have shared similar stories. "One of [them] told me that her entertainment center was ruined because of the power outage, and it cost her a lot of money to get it fixed.“

She worries there could be more serious consequences of cutting off power to someone's home. Stice adds anyone who relies on oxygen, or a ventilator could be seriously hurt as a result.

Stice and several other neighbors have now installed locks on their outdoor fuse boxes, hoping to prevent this prank from hurting their families, but hopes this serves as a warning to the teens pulling a seemingly harmless prank.

“ They need to think more about the consequences of what you’re doing," said Stice. "More than just that it’s fun to do for five minutes."