Teens investigated after police officer’s mailbox blown up

Teens investigated after police officer’s mailbox blown up


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SALT LAKE CITY — Police say a group of juveniles in Uintah County picked the wrong mailbox to blow up.

The mailbox belonged to a Vernal police officer.

On Jan. 26, Uintah County sheriff’s deputies were asked to assist with an investigation.

“I was advised that a carload of juveniles had blown up (a Vernal police officer’s) mailbox with an unknown type of explosive device,” according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 8th District Court.

A trail camera set up nearby was able to take a picture of the vandals and their vehicle, the warrant states.

“The photos also show at least one of the suspects in the vehicle filming the incident,” according to the warrant.

Using the photographs from the trail camera, police were able to identify the owner of the vehicle as a woman and her son whom officers had dealt with on “numerous occasions,” the warrant states. Because of that, the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office took over the investigation to avoid a conflict of interest.

Deputies were able to identify five juveniles who were in the car, including the unlicensed driver and at least one boy who was just 13, the warrant states. One boy told police he was encouraged by the others to put the explosive device in the mailbox and light it while at least three others filmed it on their cellphones.

While deputies initially believed the police officer was targeted, a spokesman for the sheriff's office said Wednesday that upon further investigation, detectives “couldn’t find any substantial evidence” to support that theory.

The case will be forwarded to the Uintah County Attorney’s Office to be screened for possible charges, the spokesman said.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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