Vandals Strike Over 50 Mailboxes in Region 8

December 30, 2003 -- Posted at 5:17 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- Vandals have struck in Jonesboro, damaging, destroying and stealing mail from more than 50 mailboxes.  Victims are angry and want to know why.

James Best's mailbox was vandalized.  
"Who would want to do something like that?  Who gets a kick out of destroying people's mail, is what I wonder," said Best.
Jonesboro police say the vandals also took Christmas decorations.
"Tthe offenders apparently made a display out of the mailboxes and Christmas decorations and piled some of the stolen mail in front of them," said Lt. Rick Elliott, of the Jonesboro Police Department.
Police were able to recover the stolen goods and are working on fingerprinting the evidence...but it may not take long before arrests will be made.
"We have received information from a witness that actually saw these individuals and the vehicles involved and gave us the license information," said Lt. Elliott.
Most mailboxes were not badley damaged, but most victims in Jonesboro did have their mail stolen...and both of those crimes are a federal offense.
"I'm sure they're not aware that they could face federal charges over this. This little prank could land them some time in state or federal custody," said Lt. Elliott.
But it's not only the victims and the police who are concerned about the damaged mailboxes...but what about the postal carrier?

Postal carrier Thomas Archer says a missing mailbox is a hassel for everyone.

"Well, most of the time it just winds up being a big inconvenience for the customer. Because when there's not a box what we'll have to do is take the mail back to the post office and have it until they pick it up there or just hold it at the post office until they get a new box put up," said Archer.

The Jonesboro Police Department is asking for help. If you have a tip on these mailbox bandits, call Crimestoppers, 935-STOP.  If your tip turns into an arrest, a cash reward could be coming your way