It appears that an overzealous fireworks vandal(s) blew up an 18-slot ‘secure’ group mailbox tree in Burien’s Seahurst neighborhood over the 4th of July weekend. The mailbox was most likely blown up by a large, exploding firework of some kind, which ripped the right rear corner off, possibly damaging it beyond repair. The mailbox is located near SW 146th Street and 12th Ave SW (map below), and these photos were sent to us by a concerned neighbor (click images to see larger versions/slideshow): MailboxBlownup0 MailboxBlownup MailboxBlownup3 MailboxBlownup4 MailboxBlownup6 From our initial research, large locking mailbox trees like these cost around $2,300. But that’s nothing – if the vandal(s) gets caught, he/she could be fined up to $250,000, or imprisoned for up to three years. Here’s more from the US Postal Inspection Service:

PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM MAILBOX VANDALISM Rural area mailboxes are vulnerable to vandalism because they are usually isolated, located on public thoroughfares, and frequently not visible to the box owners from their homes. City residential mailboxes are vandalized to a lesser degree. Mailboxes are considered federal property, and federal law (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1705), makes it a crime to vandalize them (or to injure, deface or destroy any mail deposited in them). Violators can be fined up to $250,000, or imprisoned for up to three years, for each act of vandalism. Postal Inspectors recommend these actions to protect your mailbox and any mail that may be inside it:
  • Immediately report theft, tampering, or destruction of mail or mailboxes to your Postmaster. Or click here to report it to the Postal Inspectors online, or call 1-877-876-2455 (press 5).
  • Obtain Label 33 from the Postal Inspection Service and affix it to your mailbox. The sticker warns that willful damage to mailboxes and theft of mail are crimes.
  • Keep your mailbox in good repair, and make sure it’s properly installed. This may help prevent theft of the mailbox itself.
If you have information on mailbox vandalism, call the Postal Inspection Service to report it. Your cooperation helps apprehend violators. You may provide your information or complaints to your local postmaster or your nearest Postal Inspector.