Protect your mailbox, and its valuable contents

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 2, 2017

It may seem like a simple crime, but the vandalism of mailboxes is a federal offense.

This week was the Mardi Gras holiday, and in the Pine Grove Community, several mailboxes along one road were removed from their post, in addition to several other acts of vandalism taking place.

There is no proof that young people were involved, but according to the United States Postal Service, instances of mailbox vandalism increase when children are not in school, especially during the summer.

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No matter who committed the act of vandalism, or their age, preventing the delivery of the mail is much more than just a simple nuisance to those affected by these acts.

Just think of the types of documents that typically arrive via the mail.

From titles for property, to important documents such as checks, if the mailbox contains these documents when the vandalism occurs, the intended recipient may never receive that mail, especially if explosives were used.

And while it may be hard for the actual culprit to be identified in many of these incidents, there is a stiff penalty imposed on those convicted of such crimes.

How does a fine sound? While many may not think the fine will be that substantial, it could be as much as $250,000 for each act, according to the USPS. What about jail time? Again, that could carry up to three years in jail per act.

So, a person found responsible for vandalizing multiple mailboxes could be facing a hefty fine and more than just a few years behind bars.

While some residents may not think they can deter such acts of malice, here is one simple tip that might just catch the next person intent on having fun at the expense of mail delivery.

Post a game camera in the vicinity of the mailbox, out of sight. It could very well capture an image of the culprit in the act, leading to federal charges.