Residents in several areas of the county had their mailboxes damaged or destroyed over the weekend.
When a mailbox containing mail is vandalized, it becomes a federal offense.
Marlinton Postmaster Janice Good said the vandalism has affected a lot of elderly people, many of whom have no way to repair or replace a mailbox on their own, and they worry about how they will send and receive mail in the meantime.
Damage was reported from Minnehaha Springs to Frost, Huntersville to Beaver Creek, Woodrow to Jerico Road, and hit and miss incidences along other roadways.
Cpt. Herby Barlow, of the West Virginia State Police – Marlinton Detachment, is lead investigator in this case.
If your mailbox is damaged or destroyed, please report it to the state police at 304-799-4101, giving them your name, address and phone number. In addition, Barlow said to take pictures of the damaged mailbox, and keep the receipt if a new mailbox is purchased.
The Pocahontas County Prosecuting Attorney’s office is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals.
A U.S. Postal Service article titled, “Mailbox Vandalism Isn’t a Joke,” reports the following:
“Mailboxes are protected by federal law, and crimes against them and the mail they contain are considered a federal offense. Violators can be fined up to $250,000 or imprisoned for up to three years for each act of vandalism…
If you have teenagers at home, talk with them about the downside of damaging mailboxes, and vandalism in general. Remind them of the penalties, the impact on the victims, and that they can get hurt or killed in the process. The Postal Service doesn’t take these crimes lightly because of the severity of the potential consequences.”