Westfield police investigating exploding mailboxes

Westfield police are investigating cases of exploding neighborhood mailboxes from over pressure devices. (Photo submitted by Westfield Police Dept.)

Westfield police are investigating cases of exploding neighborhood mailboxes from over pressure devices. (Photo submitted by Westfield Police Dept.)

The Westfield Police Dept. is investigating four instances of vandalism that recently occurred in the city. From Jan. 18-20, several over pressure devices have been detonated. In each instance, Sgt. Robert Dine said the device had been placed inside a mailbox, causing damage.Over pressure devices are usually seen in a sealed two-liter bottle containing common household cleaners and aluminum foil. When the ingredients are combined, a chemical reaction is created that causes the bottle to explode. The remains of the devices can include chemicals and fumes that can cause injury to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.

“The greatest danger is if the over pressure device fails to explode, and is found by an unsuspecting person. Picking up an unexploded device could agitate the chemicals, causing the bottle to explode in their hands,” Dine said.

Police Cpt. Brodie Houston said the devices have not caused any physical harm yet but warns residents to not pick up, kick, touch, or disturb any bottle filled with unknown fluids or objects.

The four Westfield locations – 16400 Oak Manor, 1300 Lewiston, 16900 Southall and 1000 Manassas drives – are not the only ones reported in Hamilton County. Houston said the Carmel Police Dept. also responded to an incident over the same weekend and Noblesville Police had reports of one before those.

“We expected to get a phone call if there were any more since people were checking their mail after the holiday,” he said.

Houston said residents should report any suspicious activity to the Westfield Police. For emergencies, residents should call 911. For non-emergencies, residents can call 773-1300.

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