Armed, camouflaged men try to access water tower

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 6 at 6:39 PM

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Surveillance cameras caught images of two camouflaged men trying to cut a lock at a water tank last month, according to the Lakewood Water District.

The men were not able to gain access to the 3.5 million gallons of water stored in the Eva Gasso Tank on 150th Street Southwest.

The district put up surveillance cameras after the tank had been hit by vandals and metal thieves earlier this year.

The camouflaged men were captured on the cameras around 3:45 a.m., May 16.

“It stepped up a notch once they start bringing guns to the site,” said district superintendent Ian Black.

Black said the men were trying to cut a padlock at the base of a ladder leading to the top of the covered, 3.5 million gallon tank.

According to the surveillance video, Black said the men gave up and ran off after their bolt cutters could not cut the padlock.

Black described the weapon one of the men was carrying as a “long gun.”

The district’s General Manager Randy Black, no relation, called it an assault rifle.

Randy Black said Lakewood Police and federal investigators are looking for the two men.

“Water purveyors fall under Homeland Security now,” said Ian Black, pointing to a sign near the tank warning trespassers they face up to 20 years in prison for tampering with the public’s water supply.

Jennifer Hansen lives and trains horses across the street from the tank and is one of the 5,000 customers who drink water from the tank.

She had been wondering why police had been at the tank recently.

“I’m glad to know there’s enough security over there,” said Hansen.

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