Angelina Co. Sheriff's Office investigating crime spree that damaged 40 to 50 mailboxes

Angelina Co. Sheriff's Office investigating crime spree that damaged 40 to 50 mailboxes
Source: Angelina County Sheriff's Office
Source: Angelina County Sheriff's Office
Source: Angelina County Sheriff's Office
Source: Angelina County Sheriff's Office
Source: Angelina County Sheriff's Office
Source: Angelina County Sheriff's Office

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Some Angelina County kids are finding out that their weekend of mischief has some real, criminal consequences.

At least four suspects are being questioned in connection to more than 40 smashed mailboxes and about 37 stolen street signs.

It won't be easy for many Angelina County residents to get their mail after kids on a crime spree damaged between 40 to 50 mailboxes.

"It appears that over a period of two days, Saturday and Sunday, we had some criminal mischief to mailboxes which is more commonly referred to by the kids as mailbox murdering," said Captain Alton Lenderman, Angelina County Sheriff's Office.

The suspects seemed to focus a lot of their attention off FM 1819 but they didn't stop there. At least 37 street signs were broken off and stolen. Several signs are missing in the Wells area in Cherokee County as well.

"Both of these have to be replaced, so it seems like a small amount in ways, but if you start adding it up, it's quite a bit of money," Lenderman said.

The sheriff's office began investigating after pictures surfaced on Facebook and Instagram of the alleged crimes.

"They took a lot of the signs and some of the mailboxes even and took them to a location in the north part of the county at a place called the sand pit where some of the kids hang out," Lenderman said.

Investigators found most of the street signs in the trees in an apparent display at the sand pit. The social media posts led investigators to one adult and three or four juveniles who they believe are involved.

"It's appearing that this might have been part of an initiation in some type of informal club that some of the juveniles had," Lenderman said. "Any time it's criminal mischief or theft, it's a crime. It's not a prank or just out having a good time. It's a crime, and a lot of the times, what you think is small, when it's combined into several incidents, it's a felony."

A mailbox is considered federal property, and Lenderman damaging it is a federal crime though these cases are typically left for local law enforcement to handle.

A warrant will be issued for the adult involved in the crime spree. All the suspects are facing criminal mischief and theft charges. Right now, the damage caused is more than $1,500 and climbing.

Copyright 2015 KTRE. All rights reserved.