When Cape police officers received a report of a vandalized mailbox on Olde Colony Lane on May 14, they were not prepared for the extent of the damage to the residential mailbox.
Instead of finding a bashed mailbox, a common form of vandalism, the mailbox had been exploded, and pieces were scattered across the lawn and into a neighbor’s yard.
Fortunately, the explosion occurred in the late evening, but had it gone off at another time, there might have been significant personal injury.
A police investigation revealed that the incendiary device was made with common household materials, including tinfoil, a plastic soda bottle, and a brand of toilet bowl cleaner. When combined in a specific manner, the chemical in the cleaner reacts with the tinfoil and explodes.
“This is obviously a dangerous device,” explained CEPD Police Captain Brent Sinclair. “Not only could people be harmed by the explosion, but the chemical involved will also burn if it comes in contact with someone’s skin.”
Police are working on a lead, and also advise that the act of destroying a mailbox could be considered a federal offense.
— Debbie Butterworth