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How To Catch Mailbox Vandalism

By David Krug 5 minute read

Every one of us has seen the old coming-of-age flicks in which some neighborhood miscreants bash a post office box with a baseball bat.

While the humor may be intended to be lighthearted, the reality is that many individuals have to deal with this problem.

So, what can you do about mailbox vandals, and how can you safeguard your mailbox? Here’s what I found!

In 2022, postal vandals

The vandalism of a USPS mailbox or collection box is known as mailbox vandalism. A federal offense, mailbox vandalism can result in fines of up to $250,000 and three years in prison.

If your mailbox has been vandalized, you can report the incident to the US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and then contact the authorities in your area.

A wide range of mailbox vandalism prevention and detection solutions are available from a number of firms.

What should you do about mailbox vandals in your neighborhood? Keep reading to see how you may prevent future vandalism and seek restitution for any damage that has already been done.

What Are Mailbox Trespassers?

A USPS mailbox or blue collection box is considered vandalized if it is damaged, defaced, or destroyed.

Some examples include tossing firecrackers at/into and around the mailbox, as well as ramming the mailbox, scratching it, and more. As a result, a mailbox vandal is someone who commits such acts.

Rowdy teens frequently see mailbox vandalism as a minor misdemeanor, but it is actually a serious felony that carries substantial penalties for those who are caught doing it.

As vandalism against federal property, mailbox vandalism is punishable by fines of up to $250,000 and up to three years in a federal correctional facility if it occurs.

Make sure you know the difference between an accident scratching your neighbor’s mailbox and purposeful vandalism. Keep your cool if you’ve damaged a USPS mailbox, and don’t freak out.

You can contact your neighbor to let them know and work together to repair the mailbox, or you can contact your local post office if you accidentally damaged a USPS collection box.

A mailbox vandal is someone who intentionally damages mailboxes, although if the damage is accidental, you won’t be called a mailbox vandal.

What Should I Do If My Mailbox Has Been Vandalized?

There are a number of options accessible to you if your mailbox has been damaged. Your police department should be contacted immediately, so that evidence may be acquired in case you wind up in court for this vandalism.

The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) has a page on its website where you may file a vandalism report.

Your case number will be sent to you via email when you’ve submitted the complaint on the USPIS website.

There are a few ways in which you may use this reference number, including adding further information on fresh vandalism incidences on the UPSIS website here, and going to court if necessary.

Call the USPIS at 1-877-876-2455 if you’d like to talk to someone. USPIS and the local police department will keep you informed of any significant developments in the investigation after you’ve made your complaint. You will also be approached for a formal statement.

It is possible to secure your mailbox if it has been repeatedly damaged and law police are slow to respond.

How can I prevent vandalism against my mailbox?

To keep your mailbox safe from vandals, you have a few options, each with a different price tag and level of aggressivity. Use Label 33 from the post office as the cheapest and most effective option.

Postal workers are happy to provide you with a free copy of Label 33, which outlines the consequences of tampering with a mailbox.

If the vandal reads the label before damaging the mailbox and takes it seriously, this approach is a good deterrent.

Anyone who has had their mailbox vandalized several times is advised not to use this method, since it will likely be futile and annoying for them.

Investing in cameras would be a more active way to guard your mailbox. Even though this is mostly a deterrent to vandals rather than a kind of protection, it may nevertheless be quite effective when applied properly.

For a little higher price, you can get motion-detected cameras for your Ring doorbell or perimeter cameras.

Motion-detection cameras can also include features like motion-detection lights and alarms, which are proven to frighten away most mailbox vandals while providing you with strong proof to establish a case.

Consider purchasing or building an indestructible mailbox as the most severe defense against vandals for your mailbox. Here is a link to an unbreakable mailbox you can buy, the mailbox.

Using 14 gauge, electro galvanized welded steel, this product weighs roughly 40 pounds and is extremely hard to break.

If you want to go the additional mile, MailBoss also offers matching posts and mounting plates.

\Some folks advise designing your own durable mailbox from scratch to suit your specific needs and budget.

Putting your mailbox on chains, rather than a post, allows it to swing like a swing and absorbs harm with the potential for returning damage.

Cement-filled steel stakes placed on either side of a mailbox have been used by some others to form a kind of force field around the mailbox itself

You have a number of alternatives when it comes to keeping your mailbox and yourself safe from vandals, but you are the best judge of what you need and how much money you have to spend.

See also our articles on how quickly is USPS priority mail, can you place a package in a USPS mailbox, and where is my USPS mail for additional information.

Bottom Line

The vandalism of a USPS mailbox or collection box is called mailbox vandalism. Fines of up to $250,000 and up to three years in a federal prison institution are available for anyone convicted of this felony.

To report vandalism to the United States Postal Inspection Service, you should phone your local police station and register a complaint with the US Postal Inspection Service.

Installing security cameras and strengthening your mailbox are recommended measures if a record of vandalism has been established.

David Krug