What happens when mailboxes are vandalized? Enter the Postal Inspection Service

LAS CRUCES – Several residents off Del West Boulevard and Zachary Place discovered Tuesday morning their mail boxes had been vandalized.

The damage and likely theft prompted residents to file complaints to police and the local U.S. Post Office.

“If somebody vandalizes a postal mailbox, or steals mail and packages, that’s a federal offense either by jail time, a hefty fine, or both,” U.S. Postal Service spokesman Rod Spurgeon said. “If you see a crime that has been committed, call your local police that way you can report the crime. After you call the police you can the Postal Inspection Service. The postal service has their own investigative arm of federal law enforcement officers, and we’re proud to have them.”

Mail theft and destruction of a mail receptacle are both felony federal offenses, the former being punishable by five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

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