City police working with investigators from JWC Sheriff's Dept.

Melissa Ash, The Premont Journal

Authorities believe the recent acts of vandalism to city property and the AP power plant on County Road 431 that left many Premont residents with out power last week may be connected.

"The county is working with us to investigate the vandalism," Police Chief Fidencio Hinojosa said. "We will prosecute whoever is responsible to the fullest extent of the law. When they caused the power outage they endangered the lives of elderly people in the area who need power. We also believe the vandalisms may be related."

The county, along with the city, is still investigating acts of vandalism that have been occurring in the Premont area over the last month. The most recent vandalism at the AP power plant on Jan. 31 left many Premont residents with out power for three hours. Entrance was made into the power plant after the chains and locks had been cut, officials said. After making, entrance the individual then proceeded into the building where they flipped the breakers and cut the wires.

"We are working with Chief Hinojosa and waiting to see what we can come up with," Sheriff Oscar Lopez said. "We are also considering more surveillance in the area. The city and the county will continue to work together so we can prevent this from happening again."

The city water tower was also vandalized after having several wires cut causing the pump to stop running. Since the well was full at the time, no damage was done. Authorities say entrance was made into the area after the individual broke the chains on the gate.

The Time Warner satellite located in Premont has also been tampered with four times within the last month causing many residents to be unable to receive a signal or Internet, according to reports.

"We are urging people with information to contact the Premont Police Department," Hinojosa said. "Names will not be revealed. The individuals who are responsible for this could possible face both state and federal charges depending on the effects the vandalism causes."