Mailbox Bombs Blamed For Beggs Wildfires

Thursday, March 23rd 2017, 11:42 am
By: News On 6

A deliberate federal crime leaves more than 10 acres scorched in Okmulgee County.

Investigators are looking for the person who blew up mailboxes, sparking grass fires.

The Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office said it’s likely someone set off a firecracker inside at least two mailboxes; from there, the fire spread, burning more than 10 acres.

"It could have burned thousands of acres just depends on how the wind acted," said Okmulgee Emergency Manager Tim Craighton.

Thursday, investigators found evidence that someone put fireworks or some other explosive inside two mailboxes. The explosions not only ripped off the mailboxes, fire from it sparked all the damage.

"The ramifications are so large. If someone would have been in the path of that when it went off killed or maimed if you were driving by you would have been hurt,” Craighton said.

He said pranks like this not only put people in danger but any vandalism of any kind to U.S. Postal Service-owned property - like a mailbox - is a federal offense.

Investigators are looking into two explosions - one on Cemetery Road and another on Seay Road. Witnesses said in at least one incident they spotted an older model red truck with white strips likely connected to it.

High grass fire danger coupled with high winds make deliberate crimes like this even more dangerous to the public and firefighters.

Craighton hopes whoever is responsible evaluates the risk and stops.

"There’s something wrong with people when they have no respect for life," Craighton said.

Investigators say pay attention to any suspicious activity happening around your mailbox.

If you have information about the crime contact the Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office 918-756-4311.