Law enforcement asks public to be watchful –
By Patricia Beech –
The Adams County Sheriff’s office is asking the public to be on the lookout for vandals who have destroyed dozens of mailboxes across the county in recent months.
According to Deputy Jason Daniels, mailboxes have been hit on Hafer Road, Chapparal Road, Hamilton Road, and Old Cincinnati Pike.
He said vandals have damaged or destroyed around 50 area mailboxes since November.
“It usually happens during the early morning hours, regardless of the weather conditions,” said Daniels. “As of yet we have no clues and no suspects.”
Authorities say they believe the damage is being done from a vehicle.
“In most cases, the mailboxes are definitely being destroyed from a car or truck,” said Daniels. “The perpetrators may have gotten out a time or two, but we haven’t found evidence of that yet.”
Still in the early stages of the investigation, authorities are asking the public to be watchful.
“There’s got to be a witness out there somewhere,” says Daniels. “Someone who may have heard something and looked out their window.”
Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Adams County Sheriff’s Office at 544-2314.
According to the United States Postal Service, a single act of intentionally vandalizing a USPS approved mail box is punishable by federal fines of up to $250,000, as well as fines imposed by local municipalities.
Under federal law, anyone convicted of vandalism of a federally approved public or private mailbox may be sentenced up to three years for each act of vandalism. Cities, counties, and states also have laws in place against the destruction or vandalism of mailboxes, which may carry additional criminal penalties.
Depending on the severity of the damage, perpetrators may be charged with additional misdemeanor or felony charges ranging from criminal mischief to felony destruction of private property, which can carry additional sentencing terms of up to and over one year in jail.
In addition to civil and criminal penalties, tampering with or vandalizing federal mailboxes may also result in required hours of community service ranging from several days to several months of unpaid labor.
Vandalized mailboxes should always be reported to local authorities. Law enforcement will write up a report for the damaged property that facilitates insurance reimbursement.
The vandalism should also be reported to the local postmaster. The Postal Service has a law enforcement division that also cracks down hard on mailbox vandalism with fines and possible prison tim