VILLAGE OF HARRISON – Mailbox vandalism is a crime that isn't normally investigated too thoroughly.
"It's something that occurs quite often in the rural areas," explained Lt. Mark Wiegert of the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department.
But Wiegert says red flags were raised after seven people reported some surprise deliveries – and it wasn't from the U.S. Postal Service.
"What gave us some alarm in this case is the fact that some of those were damaged using some type of homemade explosives," said Wiegert.
Police say seven mailboxes in the Village of Harrison and the Darboy area – in the northern part of Calumet County – were damaged between Friday and Saturday of last week.
Some mailboxes - like this one on Hemlock Lane in Harrison - were burned to the ground.
"We'd like to get to the bottom of it before somebody gets hurt."
Investigators believe the seven incidents all happened late at night. Wiegert says it's not clear what type of homemade explosive was used.
"We don't want somebody to get hurt – and either the person who's doing this or somebody coming home – driving by as it explodes."
Wiegert says there's not just a concern for people's safety, but that this vandalism is tied to other acts of vandalism in the area, like Kaukauna. That's where 33 mailboxes were damaged about two weeks ago.
"My guess is that they are most likely related. Sometimes you'll get copycats,” explained Wiegert. “I guess what makes ours a little different at this point is the homemade explosives that were used."
The damage to the mailboxes is estimated at nearly $1,000.
The U.S. Postal Service says its inspectors are reaching out to Calumet County to help in the investigation and the suspects could eventually face federal charges.
Calumet County Crimestoppers is offering a $300 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the damage.
Callers can remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers at (877) 765-8327 or by texting a tip using the keyword “calumet.”