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Indestructible Mailboxes???

Posted by Val2 (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 7, 02 at 11:32

Hi - - I am SO tired of my mailbox getting bashed by baseball bats. The little s**ts have now destroyed 7 mailboxes in 2 years, either by bashing the side in or by knocking it off the post completely.

I'm going to invest in a mailbox that will 1) not crush, 2) stay on the post, and also a post that stays in the ground and can't be bent, broken, removed.

Short of filling the mailbox with concrete so that the kid breaks his arm (but oh boy am I tempted!), what type of mailbox/post (brand?) have you had success with?

:-)

Thanks - - sigh - - V


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Wow!--what kind of neighborhood do you live in? Where are the parents and why haven't you enlisted their help with the problem (and if they don't want to help out voluntarily, I'd be taking photo's of the damage in progress and taking them to small claims court to pay for it).

Sorry, though, don't know the answer to your question--I have a mail slot in my door. The absolutely best way, IMO, to get your mail--never have to worry about it sitting outside in the weather, being stolen, cancelling delivery when we're away. Problem with that is, that once you've got a mailbox, it's illegal to go to a slot. The post office is actually trying to get all neighborhoods to have curbside boxes. Can't tell you how tacky it looked when a new street of half million $ homes were added to my neighborhood and they all have the box at the curb (that is NOT the norm around here--all older homes have mail slots or boxes by the front door).

Well, good luck--and do keep a camera by the front door--great evidence whether you show the photo's to a parent, a policeman or a judge.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Mail slot is the way to go. The previous owner of our house had her mailbox at the backdoor(!) - we removed it told the mailman to use the slot in the front door until we bought a proper box for the front. That was over a year ago and we gave up looking for one (we didn't like any we saw). Many of our neighbors do not have boxes either - they use mail slots (that's what gave us the idea).


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

I've seen pillars made of brick with the mailbox set inside the brick. Pretty and functional.

Betta, this is pretty common in rural areas where the kids drive by with someone hanging out the window with a bat. Brick and mortar should slow the little buggers down!

I have also seen bat-proof mailboxes at Home Depot. I didn't pay too much attention but I think they were large plastic-type things with a mailbox within a larger outer box.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Val,
I read in the "Complete Tightwad Gazette" about someone who had the same situation. The guy solved the problem by putting a small mailbox inside of a larger one and then filling the space in between with concrete. He bolted it securely somehow to the post. He reported seeing baseball bat splinters around the new improved mailbox. Mailboxes are expensive, but revenge is priceless! If you need more details, the book is pretty easy to find. Let us know how you solve this!!


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

You need to be careful about building to strong of post, because you might find yourself in trouble if a car hits it and people get hurt because the post didn't move. BUT I like the idea of the box in a box! I used to have a plastic box that would come apart when smacked and all you had to do was snap it back together, but some kid hit it just the right way and that was the end of that box. Now I just buy the $5.00 box at Home Depot. The guy down the street built a 2X12 box around his mailbox, and its been there for years. I think the next time mine gets smacked I will get the two boxes an use the cement to make a bat shattering mailbox! I want to see bat splinters!
Bill


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Believe it or not, I live in a pretty upscale and desirable town (not real rural, but far from being a city). (I was fortunate to find one of the smaller, and therefore less expensive homes!). As was already mentioned, mailbox bashing is a common teenager prank in many towns. If you haven't experienced it yet, and your mailboxes are curbside, you will.

There's no way to know who it is as they're in cars and do it late at night. It's a game to see who can hit the most mailboxes, with points for bashing it or knocking it off the post completely. It's so annoying.

A mailslot is not an option. Our mail delivery people drive the route, not walk (we don't even have mail trucks - they use their own cars). So the regulation is to have a mailbox on a post on the side of the road.

I've heard of the concrete in the mailbox idea before, and I'm very tempted. I'm also considering a post office box, but why should I be so inconvenienced. Oh well, replacing my mailbox every couple of months is pretty inconvenient, too.

V


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

I hate to admit it, but when DH was a teenager, he was considered the "king" of mailbox baseball among his group of friends. I remember him telling me that there was one mailbox that none of them could ever destroy, no matter how hard they tried. The owners had built a frame of 4x4 posts, and suspended the mailbox from it with chain. So, even if they could manage to get the bat between the posts, the mailbox swung around. They considered it a victory when one night they dented the door on the front.

Fortunately I don't have this problem. There is a mailbox next to mine that belongs to the lady across the road. We are the only houses for a mile or so. Hers is constantly smashed, but it provides a nice protective barrier for mine!

Alissa


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

I know what you have been through i went through it myself for 3 yrs this is what i did,lowes sells a vandal proof rural mailbox for about $59.00 heavy gauge steel, i built a post from two and a half inch galvanised exhaust pipe i welded a cross piece on the upright, if you cant weld or dont have access to a welder you can get an exhaust shop to make it.weld 2 1/2 inch bolts to the cross piece then drill 2 matching holes in the bottom of the box and secure the box to the bolts with nuts and washers. this is a strong set up but wil bend over if hit by a car. i havent had a problem since.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

This reminds me of a neighbor I once had. Her father made her a beautiful mailbox that looked just like a duck when she first moved in. I didn't have a chance to warn her - but this episode gave new meaning to the term "sitting duck". It was in splinters the first night. My mailbox has been up for 21 years. It is a very heavy gauge aluminum. Don't know the name, but it has survived all the neighbors boxes. Mailbox bashing is some strange rural phenomenon. Kind of like ringing doorbells in the city. I personally do not see the fun in it and am not one to buck tradition, but if I ever found out that my child did any damage to another person's possessions, they would be paying DEARLY for a long time. Boils down to lack of respect and insensitivity.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

It's very common (mailbox bashing) in many rural areas,
and the main reason that I get my mail at the post office.
One thing I have seen done, is the mailbox mounted inside
a piece of very large pipe. Also here a few years ago, a teenage boy was killed when he stuck his head out the window of the car to bash the mailbox with a bat, and hit
it with his head instead.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

We have a very nice two-part plastic mailbox that we attach to its base with two long nails...one on each side. When we go out for the morning paper, we take our mailbox out and attach it...then when we pick up the mail in the afternoon, we bring our mailbox in with the mail. We can't afford to lose a fifty dollar mailbox every week, and this seems to have solved the problem...unless they feel challenged and try to steal the base also...until then..we just bring our box in every day.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

I never though of bringing in the box! What a good idea! I don't have these problems, my house is on a walk route.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

We never had the problem with the kids, but our neighbor down the street made a game of hitting ours every time he came home late after having a 'few too many.' Which was about once a month.

DH put a pipe way down in the ground, with the mailbox on an 'L'. He made it so it the top part would swing around if hit.

Sure 'nuff, one morning we went out to a driveway full of debris, only this time it was truck parts instead of mailbox parts. We had the Sheriff's dept out, they matched the 'found' parts in our driveway to the 'missing' parts on his truck, he paid us for the mailbox AND the trouble, and even tho he still drinks, he never hit our mailbox again.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

A friend of mine who's a welder built an indestructible mailbox out of big pieces of pipe. The post, box, the whole thing was pipes of different sizes. No way you could damage that. I too have mailboxes destroyed by bats, but it only happens maybe once every 5 years or so. And usually I need a new mailbox by then anyway, because the old one gets rusted.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

My dad solved that problem by having a mailbox and pole made at a local metal shop. His mailbox and pole are welded together, and the pole has a two foot horizontal bar at the bottom of it. The pole and bar are set in concrete about two feet into the ground. A bat just bounces off of it! Not sure what the metal is, but it looks like cast iron.

My parents driveway is about a mile long, so they could not catch the vandals in the act. If the mailbox bashers tried hitting the 'new' mailbox with a bat, I'll guarantee they didn't forget it any time soon! You have to leave the road to reach his mailbox, so it is no danger to traffic. The mailman was glad to see the new box, he got tired of driving up to the house to inform my parents that they no longer had a mailbox!


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

I see on the road near our house where some folks have put old tires "ringed" all down the mailbox post. Of course that is not going to save the mailbox itself. But our snowplower's love to hit the post and knock them over.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Out here in the high desert where ranchers have problems with people shooting at the mailboxes for target practice I have seen them mounted or suspended inside some larger less penetratable material like a barrel or piece of irrigation pipe or culvert. These could be designed to not be unattractive like inside the brick post someone mentioned above.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

I have a neihbour who welded 1/4 inch plate steel in hoops and then covered the box in extra tin from his roof. Painted several times and added numbers. Looks like a regular box. Until - an aluminum bat hit it one night! Wow! The car slowed for the hit and the poor kid fell out of the window from the shock of the bat! We just happened to be sitting on my screened porch across the road. We walked over - helped the kid up - and called the police. The police loved the mailbox!


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

There are many sites on the web offering bat proof boxes...below is a site I've used before.
The style browntoes mentioned, with a pillar of stone or brick, is very common in our area. The pillar is usually made of a material that compliments the house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mailboxes


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

I simply get the cheapest mailbox I can buy ($2.98) . And just keep replacing them as needed. I don't need an expensive mailbox that necessitates an insurance claim when it gets totalled.
We usually go through one a year. One year I had to get two. That year my mailbox was actually blown up with an M-80, even the post was destroyed. Twice my post got mowed down by cars that I assume were trying to hit the mailbox and the car they were riding in got too close. The one time that car actually tore the post out of theground and dragged the mailbox and the post down the block. Pretty stupid though, their car must have gotten pretty torn up. Although these kids are probably driving Mom's car anyway, what do they care.
The dangerous period peaks around graduation time for the seniors in high school. I file a complaint with the police department each time. So far replacement is my only solution although I am liking the cement mailbox thing. I am going to suggest that to my husband next spring when we have to replace our mailbox.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

someone I know took a extra large mail box and filled it with cement and put a little one in the middle so from the out side it looks normal but is fill with cement I hope this makes sense--if someone hits this with a bat their arm will be broken for sure!!


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Try this link. I have one of these and it's great. I didn't buy it because of vandals, I bought it because the thing will last forever!

Here is a link that might be useful: Heavy Duty mailboxes


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

You guys are lucky that the post office will deliver to a mailbox in front of your house. In Canada, homes built in the past 10 years or so cannot have mail delivered to a box at the house or even in front of the house. There is a flimsy aluminum mailbox center at the entrance to the subdivision where everyone gets their mail, which can be up to a mile away from the house. This is not just in rural areas, but urban ones as well. New, expensive homes, and you have to walk in -30 degree weather out blocks away to your mailbox in February.

Someday e-mail and UPS/Fedex will be the only way to receive mail...


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

This is just an idea of mine. If you have brick or stone gate/lamp posts at the end of your drive way, incorporate the mailbox into that. Then again, lamps would be a problem. I remember when I was around 8 (I'm 15 y/o now) looking out the window in our 150 y/o house at some grown man smashing our lamps...


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

The solution to this mailbox and other related problems requires a basic change in laws and attitudes. It is not right that law abiding citizens should have to pay out their hard earned money on an annual basis to cater to a bunch of vandals and drunks..Something is really wrong in our society when these jerks have nothing better to do than destroy.
I favor the concrete filled embedded in the ground mailbox and post that would ruin anything that touched it.. So what if a boy's arm is broken in an attempt to commit a criminal act.., or an automobile is totalled when hitting a man's mailbox..
The state must make laws(and enforce them) to protect the good citizens and severely punish the vandals and drunks !!
Adrian


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

A friend had that problem. So his father, a metal worker, made a mailbox out of 1/2" armor plating, which he formed and welded. Did a DAMNED nice job. It actually looks like a real mailbox, just a bit bigger.

He mounted it on a steel I-beam set in concrete in case they tried to pull it.

Several days after it was placed, someone tried to bash it. Not very successfully. But one of the neighborhood hooligans showed up the next day sporting a cast on his right arm...

A few weeks later, someone tried to blow it up with an M-80. It didn't even burp.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

We don't have this problem--in the city with mailbox on the porch. But my in-laws live in the country so I've heard about this. How annoying! An idea someone once told me about that's the opposite of the heavy duty idea is to use a really flimsy post made from balsa wood. Apparently this causes the vandals great consternation and makes replacement really cheap. And it dosn't pose a hazard for wayward cars. Just thought I'd pass this idea along. . . . Good luck solving your problem!


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Our box is held on by a bungee cord now. It just pops off and we just have to strap it back on. Cheaper than replacement.
Kathy G in MI


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Wow - I can't believe how long this thread has gone on!!! Lots of mailbox problems, I guess! I've read it with interest, as I have the same problem.

Frankly, for those who posted about buying cheap mailboxes or posts so that it doesn't cost much to replace, that's not the aggravating thing for me. What's aggravating is that I have to keep replacing it!!! Little vandals are not going to run my life.

Here's what my very creative father did for me! He built an encasement and put steel pipes inside the encasement. It looks like the mailbox is inside a little house, roof and all. He also made it so that the mailbox and house swing on the post when hit, so it doesn't smash (of course, the steel bars on the inside walls of the house prevent damage), the whole thing just moves. Cool - very cool.

Many mornings I've come out to find my mailbox swung to the side and I have a great feeling of satisfaction. Note that it doesn't swing in the breeze - it's tighter than that. But when met with force, it moves. Love it!


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Our mailbox just bought it again, the 3rd time this year. We've lived out here in the country for 13 years, and this never happened until after I put a US flag and an eagle on the box. The eagle is wood, I painted it and attached it to the alert flag that is part of the box. It "looked" very nice, for a while. Now it's a target, apparently. The US flag was stolen almost immediately, it was a painted flag, too.

DH just did the cement thing with the old box, he bashed out the dents made by a 2x4, (the rednecks around here don't even have the decency to use a ball bat) and imbedded a new cheap box inside the old, filled with the cement, re-painted the old box, and hung it up this morning. That sucker is HEAVY. Hopefully, it'll get bashed real soon. (Now, this is a change, WANTING it to get smacked!)

We plan to put up one of the nice steel ones in a month or two, but couldn't resist this attempt at a little revenge, first. Our new box will be attached to a steel pole and buried 3 feet deep in cement. It's far enough off the road that it shouldn't be a danger to cars that are being driven by law abiding citizens.

My only regret is that our house is 1/2 mile away and we won't be able to hear the yelping.

Do I sound bitter? lolol


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

You can put up a wireless camera and hide it in the brush. Many such gadget can run on batteries for days. But that will cost you another couple hundred dollars.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Earthworm,
Well said. We have our mailbox bashed about every month and after total destruction have replaced about 5 in 8 years.

It is total disrespect for others, the law, society, and your own neighborhood. It is illegal !!!! period. If I ever caught the people doing this I would not be inclined to just wound.

I would be appalled if anyone I knew ever admitted to such behavior.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

My neighbor built his own mailbox. It's all 1/4" steel plate, mounted on a steel pipe, which is welded to a 1/2" by 30" round steel base (painted grass green).

Since it's on a movable base, if a car hits it, it just falls over (doing a bit of damage to be sure). If a bat hits it, the person with the bat gets a severe surprise.

And since building this thing, his mailbox hasn't been touched.

Myself, I have motion activated IR assisted CCTV cameras around my home for security pruposes. It was a simple matter to "aim" one of them towards the mailbox, and put it in 24 hour mode. Film to the local PO inspector, PD, and county sheriff.

Not surprising, it's a federal offense to damage the mailbox.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

I hope that I am going about installing my new mailbox in the right way. To save money I plan on using what materials I have on hand, a 6ft long x 3/4 inch galvanized pipe. with a 3/4 inch x 4 ft galvanized pipe attached to the 6 ft horizontally with a 90 degree pipe connector, creating an upside down L shape. I plan on anchoring the 6 ft pipe in concrete. Is there some give away or swing away mechanism that I can rig up at the base next to the concrete? Or anywhere for that matter?
And onto the 4 ft horizontal extension is where the inexpensive metal rural type mailbox will be mounted by either nuts and bolts, bungee cord. The base/concrete will be about 4 ft from the road for safety.
I'll have to drill holes into the 4 ft extension to mount the mailbox.
Any flaws with this idea? Any suggestions to this mounting method would be appreciated.
If you need photos of the pipe I will be glad to do that. :-)


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Here was my version of the "indestructible mail box" . . . I welded it out of a 4" piece of pipe and 1/2" rebar, then back filled the inside with concrete. As of today, I'm still waiting for the ground to thaw to get this buried in 1,000lbs of concrete. Don't mess with my mail box! :-D

Here is a link that might be useful: photo album of the contruction


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

A lot of these folks are lucky USPS is delivering them any mail.

The actual mailbox for rural route delivery needs to be USPS approved.

How you enclose it is up to the owner as long as the mailman can open the door freely and shove the mail in.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Well, I�m glad to have found this thread. Single moms have enough to deal w. Kind of don�t mind to back out the driveway in the morning & see it contorted- its remains lying in the next lot. Less bills to view. :) But the concrete idea- I�m going to follow up on that one. Reeeally wish somebody had a clever solution that would equip it to fire back & disable their vehicle (along w arm dislocation).


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

just use a post office box.. it's costly but beats letting scumbags have the joy of destroying your property.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

"just use a post office box.. it's costly but beats letting scumbags have the joy of destroying your property."

Just make sure you kiss the butts of any postal workers that will have access to your box. I've had financial statements and other sensitive documents torn open (or never arrive).

How does one stop identity theft when the post office is doing it?


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Just an FYI to everyone frustrated with gettting their mailbox destroyed. As sick as I am too with getting my mailbox destroyed (mine by people driving on the shoulder of the road pulling around cars waiting to turn left in front of my house) please heed my warning about making your mailbox post too rigid. If it's within the highway right-of-way it will be considered a "deadly fixed object" (DFO) if anyone ever hits it with their car, motorcycle, or maybe even a bicycle. That is a fact. That's why sign posts and other items in the right of way are legally required to have breakaway posts and shear bolts. I'm a civil engineer and I've designed guardrail for DOT to protect cars from DFO's. If someone hits your super-mega-heavy duty mailbox post or brick structure and gets hurt, you WILL get sued and you will easily lose if it's within the right-of-way, which most mailboxes are. If a good lawyer can show that their client got hurt as a result of hitting your DFO (even though they shouldn't have been off the travelled way), you will be in major trouble. I've seen it. It sucks. It's a sad fact. I too have wanted to drive a concrete-embedded railroad rail into the ground as my mailbox post, but it's just asking for trouble.

I'd also be very hesitant about the concrete box-in-a-box. Someone swerves to miss an animal or slides on a slipper road, shears off your wooden post, and your concrete mailbox comes through their windshield and kills them..... not good. Kiss your house goodbye.

If you have trouble with baseball bats, drive a wooden post in the ground about a foot "upstream" in the driving direction; they'll hit THAT first and won't be able to get to your mailbox. But if a car hits it, it will break away; no lawsuit.

As much as it sucks, be careful. Lawyers will have a field day.


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

I am really liking the idea of a disguised concrete filled box for the revenge :)

Mailbox attacks aren't much of a problem where I live however, most mail boxes are attached to the homes or just have a slot in the door. That being said, is it possible to set the mailbox further back from the street?


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RE: Indestructible Mailboxes???

Just for the record, not all of those holigans get away.

When my 22yr old nephew was 19, he and two of his buddies thought it was big fun to get 1/2 drunk, then race down a rural road about 40mph with one of them hanging off the side of the pickup bed and swatting mailboxes with a ball bat.

Mark proudly took his turn up to bat and on his second swing he lost balance and went over the side, doing a header across the driveway leaving him with a severe case of road rash that would make any Harley operator proud..LOL

When his buddies got the pickup stopped and turned around to come back and pick him up, they were all three met with a very angry homeowner with a 12ga shotgun who held them till the cops arrived.

Two of them went to jail while my nephew Mark went to the hospital where they spent three days trying to put his face back in some semblance of order, then off to jail he went too.

When he went to court he was looking forward to a penny anney misdemeanor charge of public drunk or criminal mischief, or something like that with a stiff fine & time served...

Boy was he in for a surprise, as his case was called a Federal Prosecutor stepped forward and petitioned the court to wave jurisdiction over to the Federal Court, where he was later convicted of 9 counts of willfully tampering with Mailboxes. He was found guilty and is now serving a 5 yr sentence in minimum security Federal Prison at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla.


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