Rehoboth, Bristol teens charged with damaging mailboxes

Rehoboth, Bristol teens charged with damaging mailboxes

A state-issue mailbox shortly after its installation a few years ago during sidewalk work in Portsmouth.

Several residents in the neighborhood north of the Bristol Fire Department headquarters awoke Sunday morning to their mailboxes damaged, the result of an overnight vandalism spree allegedly by two area teens.

Police charged a 14-year-old male from Rehoboth, Mass., and a 17-year-old male from Bristol with vandalism/malicious destruction of property, a misdemeanor.

While on patrol Jan. 12, Officer Russel Wood noticed several people standing around an address near Wing-N-It Bar and Grille on Metacom Avenue shortly after 8:30 a.m. There was also a car nearby with its hazard lights on.

According to Officer Wood’s report, when he asked the group if everything was “ok,” they told him that their mailboxes had ben vandalized, and knocked to the ground. A passerby, noticing the commotion, stopped and informed Officer Wood that several mailboxes along Annawamscutt Drive were also damaged.

Mailboxes on Rosedale, Robin, Primrose, and Fernwood drives were also vandalized, adding up to 17 mailboxes and $2,500 in damage.

“I observed every mailbox to be open,” Officer Wood stated in his report. “It is believed that whoever vandalized the mailboxes on Metacom Ave. also went through these mailboxes.”

A Robin Drive resident did catch the teens in the act — on home surveillance.

The homeowner showed Officer Wood a timestamped video from 1:53 a.m. that morning of two young men wearing hooded sweatshirts, both pulled over their heads. One was wearing a darker color sweatshirt, while the other was wearing one lighter in color.

The video footage wasn’t clearly visible because of the weather conditions, Officer Wood stated, and the night time lighting.

The two might have eluded police had one of their friend’s not turned them in.

According to Officer Wood’s report, one of the teen’s had called a friend, bragging about the damage he did in Bristol overnight.

The teens’ parents were contacted, and they were subsequently interviewed and charged.