Vandals destroy mailboxes of more than a dozen North Salem homes
Vandals destroyed the mailboxes of more than a dozen homes in North Salem and the Town of Southeast Saturday night, according to police. Fourteen North Salem residents reported downed mailboxes to the North Salem Police Department during the period between 11:00 p.m. Saturday and 8:15 a.m. Sunday.
“This is definitely the most we’ve had in years,” said North Salem police chief Thomas Howley. “Normally throughout the year we might take two or three reports where there’s been two or three mailboxes knocked down. Obviously this is a lot.”
The criminal activity was concentrated primarily along Route 116 and Route 121. Four mailboxes were reported hit on Route 116, two on Old Salem Center Road and eight on Peach Lake Road / Route 121. As of Monday night, the police had no leads on suspects or motive, and no video footage from any of the affected homes.
North Salem resident Max Tucci said that several of his neighbors’ homes had been affected, with damage not only to the mailboxes themselves but also to their posts. “Posts have been broken and split in half. That’s a whole other violent cycle,” Tucci said.
Howley said that in similar past incidents the culprits have been kids. “Usually it’s a one-time thing. The kids got their fill of it and they’re done with it,” he said. “They don’t appreciate the financial predicament they’re putting the homeowners in after damaging their mailboxes. It’s going to cost [homeowners] probably a minimum of $100 to get a new mailbox, plus a new post, and needing to put that up.”
Howley declined to comment on any additional measures his department may take in order to prevent future incidents, though he noted the steps that one resident took several years ago when he found himself a frequent victim of mailbox bashing. “He had his mailbox knocked about once a month. He finally put up a camera and he was able to get the plate number of the vehicle. They were apprehended and faced the consequences.”