2016-09-21 / Front Page

Mailbox Damage Press Release

by MCL staff writer

One of the many mailboxes damaged in the county. One of the many mailboxes damaged in the county. On September 5, 2016, Miller County Sheriff’s Captain Mary Price was dispatched to 995 Grimsley Bridge Road in reference to a damaged mailbox. While en route to this location, Price received a second call of a damaged mailbox at 660 Grimsley Bridge Road. Upon arrival, Price made contact with the complainant and observed shoe prints and four wheeler tracks close to the damaged mailbox. Price then had dispatch contact the on-call investigator and have him be en route to this location.

At approximately 0830 hours, Colquitt Police Detective Ken Kirkland arrived and made contact with Price and the complainant. At this time, Price pointed out the prints and damage and stated the complainant thought he heard a four wheeler between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. Price also mentioned that there was a second call relating to another damaged mailbox. Kirkland photographed this scene, noting the tracks leading up and down the road. Kirkland then proceeded to 660 Grimsley Bridge Road and made contact with that complainant. Kirkland then turned this scene over to Price and proceeded to follow the four wheeler tracks. Kirkland observed the tracks leading to 610 Grimsley Bridge Road, with a damaged mailbox, and turning around, traveling back to Grimsley Road. Kirkland continued on Grimsley Bridge Road, noting several damaged mailboxes, to Union Church Road. Kirkland then observed where the possible suspects tampered with (attempted to pull up) the road sign. Kirkland then followed the tracks to Bush Road. Traveling Bush Road, Kirkland observed two more damaged mailboxes. Kirkland then crossed Enterprise Road and observed the tracks leading into a residential yard. Kirkland notified Price of these findings and asked her to add all of the damages and addresses to the report.

Several mailboxes were damaged in front yards. Several mailboxes were damaged in front yards. While investigating the case, Kirkland was informed, by Miller County Sheriff Shane Rathel, of a possible suspect. Kirkland then made contact with this subject (juvenile) and was advised of other possible suspects. Kirkland was able to make contact and interview three suspects involved in this incident.

Most people think that when you tamper with a mailbox, it’s covered by a federal offense, but the mail, inside the box, is only covered. The mailbox itself is private property and is covered by O.C.G.A. 16- 7-27 which states: Injuring, tearing down or destruction of mailboxes; injuring, defacing or destruction of mail: (a) It shall be unlawful for any person willfully or maliciously to injure, tear down, or destroy any mailbox or receptacle intended or used for the receipt or delivery of mail or willfully or maliciously to injure, deface, or destroy mail deposited therein.

(b) Any person who violates this code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

So in other words, you’re still going to get in trouble, receive a hefty fine, do community service, get probation, and pay restitution.

Anyone living in this area with a damaged mailbox, please contact Colquitt Police Detective Ken Kirkland @ 229-758-1006 or Sheriff Shane Rathel @ 229-758-3421 with your restitution amounts that were in the press report given on September 15. It is not known if charges have been filed at this time.

According to the law officers in charge, those being charged or to be charged are all minors, and will be charged with misdemeanors. The names of those charged and number of cases have not been released since the number of cases is not known at this time, or if there could be federal charges made since mailboxes and delivery of the mail is involved in over 15 separate cases. Traffic signs have been mentioned, and minors driving licensed required vehicles during the commission of a crime are other possible offenses.

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