Another string of overnight letterbox vandalism has a number of local residents perplexed and concerned for their properties.
Reports circulating online last week included photos of multiple mailboxes that had been completely decimated along Masterton Castlepoint Rd on the night of December 22.
Police said they had not received reports of this latest bout of letterbox loutishness but confirmed that other similar incidents had occurred last year in Ōpaki and Mangapakeha, near Tīnui.
The Times-Age reported in August on a string of mailboxes that were destroyed, along with a community library smashed off its post overnight in Ōpaki.
A Tīnui resident who was one of the previous victims of overnight vandalism and wished to remain anonymous said her letterbox had been “absolutely decimated”.
“There were traction marks all over the road, so obviously lots of activity and burning tyres,” she said.
“They totally demolished our letterbox.”
The resident’s mailbox – before it was shattered – had been large and hand-crafted, a style typical of many rural mailboxes.
She said that she and her family had built the mailbox together 13 years ago as a special project and they were gutted at what seemed like a senseless act of destruction.
She said all that remained when she discovered it in October last year were muddy tyre tracks leading up to the post, and splintered wood covering the ground.
“This wanton destructive behaviour right in our face feels especially cruel,” she said.
“It makes us feel uneasy as to what they’d try next.”
The resident added she has noticed an increase in antisocial behaviour – including nasty symbols painted over local road signs – that she feels is escalating.
“It’s bad enough it happens at your front gate,” she said.
“How can anyone do that and think they can get away with it?”
Tīnui Times editor Caryl Forrest was aware of last week’s reports and said she has had conversations with local police about it before.
“The tricky thing is, police can’t do anything because no one’s been able to identify anyone who’s done it,” Forrest said.
“Typically, out here, the mailboxes are out a long way from the homestead, and it’s quite clear this is happening at night.”
Forrest knew of one mailbox that was built on two “very solid” fence posts that were snapped off during the attack.
“Whoever’s doing it must be using a really heavy vehicle because any normal car would have just been wrecked.”
She said she hopes to meet with police later this year to discuss what can be done to stop such incidents from reoccurring.