Authorities: Man claims hitting 29 mailboxes ‘accidental’

Ottawa County

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office is questioning the story of a man who claimed responsibility for dozens of damaged mailboxes in Georgetown Township. 

“His story is this was all accidental,” said Captain Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office. “We have some real concerns about his story.”

Sheriff’s authorities said they received 29 reports of damaged roadside mailboxes in a subdivision near 36th Ave. and Lenters Rd., north of Hudsonville. The damage appears to have happened early Sunday morning.

Bennett said it was late Sunday afternoon that a 39-year-old Hudsonville man — who lives in “the general area” where the vandalism occurred — contacted the sheriff’s office to claim responsibility for the damage.

“It’s not typical for a 39-year-old man to be out running over mailboxes in the middle of the night,” Bennett said.

Whatever the man’s alleged motives, Bennett thinks he became “skittish” and decided to come forward when home surveillance video of the rampage blew up on social media.

The suspect is not in custody while a detective investigates to determine what happened, including who was in the vehicle at the time and whether drugs or alcohol were involved.

“I don’t typically assign a detective to a mailbox vandalism cases, but the magnitude (of the destruction) is troubling,” Bennett said.

The detective will execute search warrants on the vehicle involved, among other steps.

When the investigation is complete, the sheriff’s office will turn it over to the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office for review. Charges could include felony malicious destruction of property, depending on the dollar amount of the damage.

Neighbors were told the suspect may also be ordered to pay restitution to reimburse the victims for the cost of replacing their mailboxes.  

The case is still under investigation. Anyone with information should contact Silent Observer at 877.88.SILENT or mosotips.com

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