Archive for Wednesday, July 3, 2002

Unknown explosives destroys mailboxes in county

July 3, 2002

Fireworks started a little earlier than the Fourth of July last week as authorities responded to three separate cases of explosives destroying mailboxes in rural Leavenworth County.

Investigators are unsure whether the explosives were fireworks or something more dangerous, authorities said.

"There was nothing left at the scene to indicate what kind of device it was," said Sgt. Charles Yates, Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department.

Normally, detectives or a bomb technician would examine materials from the scene if there were enough recovered, he said.

The first two incidents occurred at approximately 4:20 p.m. Sunday, June 30, in the 14000 and 15000 block of Archer Road just outside Bonner Springs.

Authorities said someone placed an explosive device in a plastic mailbox and a metal mailbox. Both mailboxes were destroyed.

The large metal mailbox was flattened and found 20 feet away, according to the sheriff's department.

The third incident also occurred on June 30. Authorities said an unknown suspect placed an explosive device in a mailbox in the 14000 block of 198th St. in Linwood.

The mailbox was completely destroyed by the explosion, according to the police report.

Thus far, there has not been a description of a suspect vehicle and no suspects have been questioned in the case, Yates said.

Yates said the investigation remains open and preliminary at this point.

However, he said authorities would be looking at old reports and speaking with other law enforcement agencies about similar cases.

"It's kind of like trying to find a needle in a haystack," Yates said.

Yates said the mailboxes appear to be chosen at random.

To protect against a mailbox being destroyed, Yates said one option is to padlock the mailboxes' lid or opening.

"If they're having a problem opening the mailbox, then they'll probably move on to the next one because they won't want to get caught," he said.

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