Fargo police probing mailbox bombings
A rash of mailbox bombings in south Fargo has prompted a $1,000 reward from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Fargo Police Lt. Todd Dahle said explosions destroyed eight mailboxes Oct. 19 and Wednesday. On Oct. 19, mailboxes were blown up in th...
A rash of mailbox bombings in south Fargo has prompted a $1,000 reward from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Fargo Police Lt. Todd Dahle said explosions destroyed eight mailboxes Oct. 19 and Wednesday.
On Oct. 19, mailboxes were blown up in the 2900 block of 35½ Court Avenue Southwest; the 2100 block of 29th Avenue South; and the 4100 block of 17th Street South. Wednesday, mailboxes were blown up in the 1500 block of 23rd Avenue South; the 3100 block of 38½ Avenue South; and the 1500 block of 37½ Avenue South.
Most of the incidents occurred about midnight.
The explosions are significant because of damage to the mailboxes and shrapnel scattered at the scenes.
Some of the mailboxes were literally turned inside out by the blasts. Pieces of shrapnel, apparently from the bombs, have traveled as far as 165 feet.
Dahle said it's uncertain what kind of explosive was used. "I hesitate to call it a pipe bomb, but it's got a metal casing," he said. Nor is it known whether the explosion is chemical or the bomb uses a lighted fuse.
The bombers don't appear to be trying to hurt anyone "and they're probably even watching them go off," Dahle said. Cars have been heard in the areas both before and after the blasts. They appear not to be targeting specific people.
But if anyone happens to be walking by the mailboxes, they could be badly injured, Dahle said, and the bombers' safety is endangered as well.
The Postal Inspection Service said anyone convicted of planting the bombs faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Homeowners should be alert to unknown individuals stopping at mailboxes, postal officials said, and should write down license numbers, vehicle or individual descriptions and the time the activity was observed.
Anyone with any information on the bombs can call Fargo police at (701) 235-4493 or 241-1405; the Postal Inspection Service at (651) 293-3200; or the Crime Watch Tip Line at (701) 241-5777.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Pantera at (701) 241-5541