A recent spike in the number of mailboxes damaged or destroyed in the overnight hours has prompted the Village of Briarcliff Manor and the to send out a stern warning to perpetrators.
"Many people at times thought of this as a kids' prank—well it's not," said Village Manager Philip Zegarelli. "It never was it should not be. It has gotten out of hand; it's malicious."
Zegarelli said he receives "calls almost every day" reporting mailbox damage in the village, which he finds "very frustrating."
"It's really an assault on people's private property," he said. "I saw a metal mailbox and stand and it looked like it was completely hacksawed off."
Briarcliff Manor Police reported receiving four reports of mailbox this morning, which are believed to have occurred sometime between 11 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. this morning on South State Road and Long Hill Road East.
"It's not just one person," Zegarelli added. "What it appears to be is one person drives and there is another person in the passenger's side with a baseball bat or some sort of club that bashes mailboxes up and down streets."
Historically, he said, the trend has been going on in the village for "decades."
"Of late, it has increased," Zegarelli said. "People are literally ripping people's mailboxes out. This is punk-like. This is an assault."
The village police are constantly patrolling the streets, though "It's very clandestine and it's tough to crack into this, but we are going to try," he said.
"The only way to really do this is for everyone to be more alert and to pass information onto us," he urged. "It tends to hit a peak right now around graduation time, but it's out of hand. Parents and neighbors—they have to understand that this is an absolutely crazy issue."
If you see any suspicious activity in the village, call the police at 941-2130, Zegarelli said.
"We are not looking for names, but just tell us what you see and when it happens so we can try to respond," he said. "It's more than just vandlism—it is destruction of personal property and we will let police come up with the arrests for this. This is not a prank anymore."