A mother and son who share a sprawling home were rattled Monday morning when they found their mailbox partially blown up.
Ty Blackburn was about to leave his mother’s house in the 800 block of Cougar Road, south of Sugar Tree Golf Club, at about 11 a.m. when he noticed their stone mailbox had been damaged.
At first Blackburn thought it could have been the act of teens who had been busted before for tying chains around the base of mailboxes and taking off in their pickups, but then he found shards of lead pipe.
“The lead pipe was scattered around the mailbox and 20 feet around the block,” Blackburn said.
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Parker County deputies found remnants that “led us to believe there was a pipe bomb in the mailbox,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Deputy Danie Huffman said Monday.
The front part of the mailbox was found in the neighbor’s field, Blackburn said.
“Whoever did it knows what they are doing,” Blackburn said. “None of the other mailboxes on our street were bombed, so they had to be targeting us.”
Blackburn’s mother told deputies it would cost $3,000 to $5,000 to tear down and build up a new mailbox. The cost of damage alone is a state jail felony.
Because mailboxes are protected by federal law, crimes against them and the mail inside are considered a federal offense, according to the U.S. Postal Service.
Huffman said if investigators determine the case meets the criteria for a federal offense they will “contact the proper authorities.”
If it is determined to be a federal offense, those responsible can be fined up to $250,000 or sent to prison for up to three years.
Lipan is about 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth.