WAHPETON, N.D. - The Richland County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in finding who is responsible for shooting a power transformer near here Friday, leaving many without power for hours.

Deputy Steve Gjerdevig said the incident is believed to have occurred shortly before 7 p.m., Friday. The power outage was reported to the power company at about 6:55 p.m.

Although no shell casings were located at the scene just west of Wahpeton, bullets went straight through the quarter-inch thick metal box, Gjerdevig said. He said it appears the power transformer was shot with a high-powered rifle.

Homes and businesses in Wahpeton were without power for several hours Friday evening. Power was not restored to some buildings until early Saturday morning, Gjerdevig said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Richland County Sheriff's Office at (701) 642-7711.