The Crime: Criminal Mischief
The Victim: Ray Huebner
Location: 9041 Drumcliffe
Date: Friday, Jan. 18
Time: 5 a.m.
Kids will be kids.
But it’s no secret that teenagers do things that don’t make a lot of sense from time to time, and it’s particularly frustrating when teen hijinks lead to property damage.
Just ask Ray Huebner, whose expensive, vintage brick mailbox has been almost obliterated three times. While the guilty parties remain unknown, Huebner and more than 25 mailbox-violated homeowners in his neighborhood suspect teenage foul play.
“I’m a creature of habit,” Huebner says. “Each morning, I get up at 5:30 a.m. and get the paper. You can imagine my dismay at seeing my 1,700-pound mailbox lying in pieces for the third time.
“It’s just a mailbox, but it’s made of the same kind of special brick that is used on my home. It’s extremely heavy and not manufactured anymore, which makes it a pain to fix.”
Huebner said that he immediately called the police and then his mail carrier to find out whether he saw anything unusual that morning, or if a similar crime occurred anywhere else in the neighborhood.
“My carrier told me that almost 30 other homes to the north of mine had had their mailboxes destroyed, and every one of them was brick,” Huebner says. “To me, that sounds like a bunch of boys driving around trying to prove their manhood by toppling something heavy.”
According to Dallas Police Lt. Michael Woodbury, teenage criminal mischief is common, but there are ways to prevent it.
“Kids do stupid things,” Woodberry says. “I’ve seen the ‘baseball bat to a mailbox’ incident hundreds of times. It’s unfortunate, but kids just don’t understand the magnitude of this kind of stuff until they become homeowners themselves.
“The best thing a person can do is get the police involved, join a neighborhood crime watch group, or find a way to shield the property from damage.”
Shielding his property is exactly what Huebner has done. Once again, he rebuilt his mailbox, but this time he used a special kind of adhesive cement and wood reinforcements.
“The whole thing has cost more than $500 in damages,” Huebner says. “I remember being a kid and doing stuff I shouldn’t have; it’s just a shame they can’t find some other way to prove they’re big, tough guys.”