Washington County VA

Vandals smash mailboxes

Washington County, Va. Sheriff investigates

WASHINGTON COUNTY, VA - There's been a string of vandalism in Washington County, Va.

The Washington County Virginia Sheriff's Office told us someone smashed mailboxes on four streets off of Gate City Highway late Friday night.

One resident told us that he and both of his neighbors were hit. "I was watching the ball game and I heard a big bang up the road," said Larry Cookenour.

Cookenour told us he figured a car backfired. "I thought someone was having car troubles, then I heard a louder bang in front of the house. I jumped up and looked out the window and there were two vehicles," he told us.

The next morning he found out what happened. "My neighbor came up and asked if I'd looked at my mailbox," Cookenour explained.

"What was happening is they were taking a baseball bat and smashing the mailboxes," said Fred Newman, the Washington County, Virginia Sheriff.

Newman told us vandals hit 15 random mailboxes along Gum Hill Rd., Lime Hill Rd., Chapel Rd. and Rich Valley Rd.

Cookenour lives on Wolf Run Rd., off of Rich Valley Rd., and told us he wasn't the only victim there. The neighbor above him was hit before he was.

Next, Cookenour said, "they went on and got my neighbor below me. I looked out and they were headed towards the Benhams Mileway."

We drove down Rich Valley Rd. to Gum Hill Rd. and saw at least 10 mailboxes smashed or with parts barely hanging on.

Sheriff Newman told us residents should have their eyes and ears open to help catch the vandals. "It's fairly hard because you have very little evidence," said Newman. He told us they are still investigating.

"It's just sad," said Cookenour. "We live in a society that we've got these crooks and cruds but hopefully they'll catch them."

A mailbox is federal property, which makes mailbox vandalism a felony.

The Sheriff's Department asks that you call them if you have any information about the damages. Their number is (276)-676-6000.

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