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Local woman upset after mailbox vandalized by fireworks

Crime Watch

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Destroyed mailbox | Courtesy Shawna Murdoch

AMMON — A woman is upset after she says someone threw fireworks in her mailbox and blew it to pieces, causing serious damage.

“I mean, it blew it right up,” says Shawna Murdoch.

Murdoch has been living in Bonneville County for several years and says it’s the third time in less than a year that her mailbox has been vandalized.

“I feel extremely violated. I don’t know who we can trust,” she said.

The damage to her mailbox this time, was the worst so far. She says someone or a group of what she believes were kids, put fireworks inside her mailbox last week on July 16 around 10 p.m. She was inside her home at the time watching a movie with her husband.

“We heard a noise but didn’t realize what it was. This was a big deal,” said Murdoch.

Surveillance on her home caught part of the explosion on camera. She’s not entirely sure why this happened but wonders if the kids that her neighbors witnessed driving away, targeted her son.

“Our youngest son is bisexual. He came out almost a year ago and he has received unbelievable harassment and mistreatment in our community and it just seems to continue no matter what we do,” she said.

He withdrew from school and is getting his GED.

Another concern Murdoch had was the tall grass surrounding her home. Her home is located down a hill. The fireworks could have easily sparked a fire, causing serious property damage. Murdoch explained that she doesn’t have any landscaping around her home, so she was really worried.

“We care for disabled adults and they were all asleep. (I was thinking) how am I going to get them out? This could have literally killed them,” she said.

There’s only one way to get out of her home and that’s through her driveway.

“It’s a miracle that things didn’t catch fire,” Murdoch said.

Murdoch reported what happened to the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office. She’s hoping that whoever did this will get caught.

“We shouldn’t have to live like this. This is my home. This is my property,” she said.

Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bryan Lovell says they are currently investigating the mailbox vandalism at Murdoch’s home. They are still gathering descriptions of who could have been involved and what type of vehicles were involved.

“We’re looking at a vandalism or malicious injury to property type of case. If it would have started a fire or a wildfire, there could be criminal charges associated with that tied to using fireworks,” he said.

If anyone has any information on the case, they are encouraged to report it to the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 529-1200.

As for the damaged mailbox, Murdoch says they are not going to replace it and they are going to get a PO Box instead.

United States Postal Service spokesman David Rupert says it is a crime to vandalize mailboxes and those who are convicted of destruction of federal property, could spend up to three years in jail and be fined up to $250,000.

Rupert says if you know someone who committed an act of mailbox vandalism, report it to the Postal Inspectors.

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