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.

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.

35 replies on “PHOTOS: Fireworks vandal(s) blow up large, locking, ~$2,300 Burien mailbox”

  1. There was another mailbox damaged by fireworks on 148th west of Ambaum. These boxes were almost brand new.

  2. We live near Seahurst Elementary, and our box was targeted as well. In fact, our mailman said that three other boxes on his route were blown up.

    1. That’s too bad Randy and Maenad. Don’t people have anything better to do. Just think of all the energy they wasted doing this could have been spent on doing something good. right. By the way how will you get your mail now without a mail box?

    1. Imagine what could have happened if a sharp shard of metal blew off and shot into someone’s neck, or eyes, or pretty much anywhere on their body. Sad anybody thinks this is funny or fun.

      1. Yes it’s downright dangerous and not fun or funny. It’s evil. And I also worry about the wildlife every year. Poor creatures and everyone pets and children. This just isn’t right and getting really out of hand and needs to stop!

  3. Well the good news is this is a federal crime so the mail inspector can call the atf and they can figure out what explosive was used and hopefully figure out who made it and who lit the fuse.
    Also they can find out if this was a plan attempt to steal mail or just some morons making things go boom.

  4. Might want to check if its actually a “Federal crime”. I could be wrong here and will not be offended to be corrected But I have been told in the past by PO people that once the mail hits our boxes its al ours and no longer associated with Uncle Sam.. I other words “call the police”.. I thought shooting off fireworks was illegal in Burien? I did read the signs…

    1. Hi Burien Transplant it is illegal and we sure need some help this time of year next year. We will need volunteers that could hand out big fat fines for the police. Maybe the police would go for that. Because they are understaffed. They have to go take car of all the shootings and car accidents and everything. I wish there were more police here.

      1. There needs to be a distinction between folks celebrating a fun 4th of July and thugs blowing up people’s property. They are not the same and a few people running around handing out citations will not deter the thugs who want to blow up mailboxes.

    2. 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.
      damage of federal property= federal crime
      The suspect or suspects could also face city fines for the fireworks but that would be the lesser of the crimes.
      Also with the power of the devices used home land security might even get involved to check for domestic terrorism. Since these devices were used to damage federal property even if it was a prank or just some kids messing around on the forth the feds might not see it that way.
      Then if any mail was stolen or damage the suspect or suspects could face additional charges .

      1. Jimmy seems to have a pretty well thought out explaination. Can one of the negative voters explalin why it got their thumbs “down”? I doubt it.

        1. Thank you Lee I figure most of thumbs down I get are from people that can’t deal with the truth. Some are people that think people with disabilities should not speak their mind on situations do to a couple of possible spelling errors from time to time. Then there’s the ones that are just a little butthurt that they been proven wrong in the past by a person that is disabled. Then there also a few that try to fool the system with little hacks or using multiple IP addresses.

  5. I couldn’t sleep Tuesday night/Wednesday morning so I went riding my bicycle to get some exercise. I found a red Dodge pick-up casing the Seahurst neighborhood. I followed and they threw fire works at me two different times. But, each time, due to the impact on the pavement, the fuse went out. While chasing the truck, I got another neighbor out for a walk to call the police. They blew up a trash can at Lake Burien Park. After that, I chased them out of the Seahurst Area to around the Court House. I lost them there and met up with Burien’s finest afterwards. I know that if I wasn’t involved, there would have been more damage.

    1. Wow Banker Bob how awful!!! So glad the fuse went out and didn’t harm you. That’s just terrible who was in the truck? Yes Burien Transplant fireworks are illegal in Burien, but there aren’t enough police to enforce it. We need volunteers to help this time of year especially like what happened to you Bob. I wonder if they lived around here. That’s just crazy and downright evil!!!!

        1. Part of the problem might also be how the police are distributed around town. I noticed a lot of police around 3 tree point area – perhaps that area doesn’t need as much emphasis as the area around Seahurst. For the record – throwing fire works at passersby on a bicycle and blowing up mailboxes are unacceptable. However, I don’t begrudge regular folks blowing up some fireworks to celebrate a holiday as it has been celebrated for decades. Let’s focus on the problems and not lump everyone in together.

    2. @ Banker Bob
      Thanks for your bike riding / patrolling! I was the neighbor you met, I’m glad I was able to do the little bit I did. I saw the BPD pursuing what looked like (from several blocks away) the red pickup, headed south on Ambaum. Hopefully they at least got a plate #.
      In our neighborhood, we continue to hear LARGE explosions almost nightly for the past few nights, and I go out to investigate, but never anything close enough to see.

      1. Hmm with how things have been lately maybe someone will track down that red doge truck and put some sugar in there tank and old urine in their there air vent.

      1. You mention how much time and effort it took them to blow up the box, how much time and effort have you put in with all the damn posts on this messageboard? That’s a question that needs an answer.

        1. Yes because participating in community discourse and problem solving is a huge waste of time!

      1. I woould suggest you two make a call to the post office and ask your questions there. With government holidays crime investigation and shipping times. There is probably a good answer for the delay. Also the 4 was on Monday it’s only Saturday things take time.
        You could tweet Trump and see how he would take care of this if he was in office. Fire the staff and hire a overseas sweat shop to take care of it.

        1. Trump: ” I’ll build a wall around your mailbox and have the guys in the red pickup pay for it.”

  6. Seen the Feds out there taking pics? Dusting for prints? talking to neighbors yet? As you might think after reading all that info above.. Keep us posted how the boxes get fixed and investigated!! Thanks..

  7. I am wanting to see who will pay for the damages in the end… If a kid goes by and hits your mailbox with a baseball bat and knocks it to the ground does USPS pay? It is Federal isn’t it? IM really curious at this point in case Gosh forbid they nail my box. Its been a week since the 4th. I haven’t heard anything on here yet on resolution to the damages and how the investigations are going…Not if they repaired it yet… yes, that can be a while.. but how the investigation is going so far. Who was it referred to for follow up..Will they actually come out and repair it. Those boxes are a mess.

    1. Well asking the Federal government to release info on a on going investigation don’t hold your breath.
      If I remember correctly when neighborhood’s ordered these boxes. They take awhile to be built and installed. That’s when things are planned out this kinda just happened.
      Now for who pay’s the USPS will most likely wright it off . Then if and when they catch the morons that did this then they will pay.
      When something happens to your mail or mail box it can be a little confusing on who to call
      In my opinion you need to call the local police and the post master at the local post office.
      The local police are more likely to catch the person involved but USPS will be ones pressing charges.

  8. Still no fix, or even hints of a fix, for the boxes on 148th. Neighbors said they are renting out a PO Box so they don’t have to worry about claiming mail only during USPS hours.

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