“It’s like terrorism,” Hollister resident Ken Peer, 68, told BenitoLink after his mailbox was destroyed on Aug. 20. The video provided to BenitoLink (see below) states the incident occurred around 3:30 a.m.
A surveillance video taken by one of his neighbors shows what appears to be an SUV momentarily stopping at the mailbox, then leaving before two explosions are heard. The second explosion appeared to destroy the steel mailbox.
Peer, who has been living in the block of 1800 in Valley View Road since 1985, said there was no other damage. Debris from the blast was scattered on his neighbors’ properties and his roof.
Peer said the incident scared his neighbors, who were already outside when he emerged from his house after the explosion. He said he didn’t know whether this was targeting him or just “kids” who randomly picked his mailbox.
Hollister Police Sergeant Bo Leland told BenitoLink the department receives five to 10 reports of mailbox vandalism a year.
“The types of devices used to explode the mailboxes have the potential to have catastrophic consequences to people and to property,” Leland said. “It’s not a prank.”
According to the United States Postal Inspection Service, anyone convicted of destruction of federal property, such as mailboxes, could spend up to three years in jail and be fined up to $250,000. According to the website’s public service announcement video, those protections extend to all mailboxes and the mail contained within them.
Peer said he has seen an increase in criminal activity in his neighborhood such as tire slashing. He said heavier traffic and speeding have become issues, as motorists avoid streets that have traffic calming devices such as speed bumps, which the part of Valley View Road he lives on doesn’t have.
Leland encourages concerned parties to call 911 if they see something suspicious.
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