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Thanks to vandals and a drunk driver - Abilene family replaces mailbox three times

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Jul 15 2013 07:31:48 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

A family in Abilene is faced with replacing their mailbox for the third time.

Over the weekend Reynaldo and Ixel Smith's mailbox was vandalized with what police said was a large firecracker. Right now, the Smith family is trying to make sense of the damages.

"My husband came back for lunch and he was telling me that the mailbox exploded and I was confused...because we just had the mailbox replaced," Ixel Smith said.

A pile of rocks is all that's left of the first mailbox.

"It was taken out by a drunk driver and we were awoken late at night about 12:30 a.m.," said Reynaldo Smith. "Cops came to our door and told us that a drunk driver took the mailbox out completely. So there was nothing but rubble."

The family lives across the street from Kirby Lake Park and said that drinking and pranking in the summertime is not uncommon. 
 
"With the lake being so close you got people driving up and down various times of the evening and at night," said Reynaldo Smith. "There's a lot of activity over here by the lake."

Reynaldo Smith said similar to the first time the mailbox was destroyed, the vandalism happened late at night.

"We see an uptick in DWIs between 11pm and 2am, but DWIs happen at all times of the day," Abilene PIO George Spindler said. "We know that there's a concentration of that type of activity typically on weekends."

"We just want to make sure that it's not only us being safe but also everybody else who lives on this street is safe by maybe increased patrols by the Abilene police department and hopefully later on the neighborhood watch," Reynaldo Smith said.

The Smith's said it will cost from $300 to 700.00 to repair their mailbox.

It's a federal offense to damage someone's mailbox and a crime that could be punishable with a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years in jail. The postmaster also said that mailbox vandalism increases in the summer months.