Firecrackers set off in mailboxes prompt police to step up patrols
By JASON SCHREIBER Union Leader Correspondent
RAYMOND — Firecrackers set off in several mailboxes in a local neighborhood in recent days has prompted a police investigation.
At least six mailboxes were targeted on Blueberry Hill Road, Blackberry Lane, Blake Road and Huckleberry Lane, police Lt. Mike Labell said.
Police were made aware of the firecrackers Monday when they were notified by the local post office.
Labell said a mail carrier was delivering mail when she found an unused firecracker on Blackberry Lane. The remains of a firecracker were also found inside and around a mailbox at another Blackberry Lane residence. In that case, Labell said, the shell of the firecracker was broken because it had exploded. The mail inside the box was also burned in the explosion.
Four other residents discovered similar firecracker explosions and reported them to police.
“We do get mailbox vandalism from time to time, but it’s usually not this frequent,” Labell said.
No one has been injured in the incidents, but police are worried that someone could be hurt if they continue.
Police have stepped up patrols in the neighborhood and are asking the public to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious.
Labell said police aren’t sure of the time when the incidents occurred because no one reported hearing explosions.
“There’s been nothing for leads as far as suspicious activity or suspicious noises. We’re hoping with the public’s help, we can narrow it down,” he said.
While any type of mailbox vandalism is a concern, the risk of injury to a homeowner or a mail carrier is less in cases where a firecracker is used because it’s designed to go off within a few seconds, said Michael Gendron, a United States postal inspector based in Manchester.
A bigger threat, Gendron said, is when someone used a pressurized device that might explode at a later time.
“We see that from time to time, and that’s somewhat of a bigger concern. Regardless of what it is, carrier safety is a huge concern of ours,” he said. “Carriers are reminded that if you see anything in the mailboxes that are a concern, back away.”
Anyone with information related to the investigation or who notices suspicious activity is asked to call the Raymond Police Department at 895-4747.