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Police investigating off-campus mailbox theft

Scott Brodfuehrer | Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The St. Joseph County Police Department is investigating the theft of a mailbox from the College Park Apartment Complex.The mailbox, which served 12 student apartments at 18063, 18065 and 18067 Bulla Road and was bolted to the sidewalk with masonry screws, was taken sometime between Thursday and Friday afternoon. Senior Crystal Prentice, a College Park resident, reported the theft to police Friday afternoon when she discovered that the mailbox was missing.”I went to get the mail, but the mail was not really there,” Prentice said.Prentice also reported the theft to Paramount Management, who manages the complex. Property manager Patti Russwurm said that the mailbox will cost $1,500 to replace and that Paramount is offering a reward for the return of the mailbox or information that leads to an arrest.”I’m assuming that [the mailbox] is in somebody’s apartment actually,” Russwurm said.”Hopefully someone will turn it in willingly or give us a tip on where it is located.”According to the Postal Service, mailboxes are considered federal property and federal law makes it a crime to vandalize them. Violators can be fined up to $250,000 or be imprisoned for up to three years.Until the mailbox is returned or a new one is installed, a process that Russwurm said would take three weeks after it was ordered, students must pick up their mail at the Edison Road post office.Prentice said that having to go to the post office to pick up mail is a “huge pain,” as has been the loss of at least two days of mail that was in the mailbox when it was stolen.”I don’t know who would have taken it,” she said. “I’m not sure it would be that beneficial to have a bunch of college students’ mail.”