Reynoldsburg police are looking for the vandals who smashed more than two dozen mailboxes along Slate Ridge Boulevard and Farmsbury Drive two weeks ago.

Reynoldsburg police are looking for the vandals who smashed more than two dozen mailboxes along Slate Ridge Boulevard and Farmsbury Drive two weeks ago.

Reynoldsburg police detective secretary Linda Paugh said the department began receiving calls at 2 a.m. March 20 from residents who reported hearing what sounded like a car full of juveniles driving down Farmsbury, knocking down mailboxes.

She said a patrol officer was immediately dispatched to the area but had no description of the car. The officer did not find one with juveniles in it, knocking down mailboxes.

Paugh said a total of 11 complaints were received, seven from Slate Ridge, three on Farmsbury and one from a resident on nearby Ravine Way.

Some residents showed up at the police station to report the crime after waking up that morning to find their mailboxes had been smashed.

After the sun came up March 20, patrol officer James Rogers surveyed the area and counted up to 25 mailboxes that had been knocked down or badly damaged on Slate Ridge and Farmsbury Drive.

Paugh said if whoever is responsible for the vandalism is caught, he or she would face a charge of criminal damaging, a second-degree misdemeanor, and would most likely have to make restitution to pay for the damaged mailboxes.

The mailboxes range in price between $150 and $250. Total damages are estimated at $3,750 and $6,250.

Slate Ridge resident Arley Owens, whose mailbox was badly damaged, said officer Rogers came to everyone's house along the street and filed reports on the homes that had mailboxes damaged.

Owens is a member of the Slate Ridge homeowners association. He said he did not hear anything himself that night, but his neighbors heard popping sounds outside although they did not see anything.

Owens said his mailbox was not a year old. He had replaced an older one just last summer at a cost of about $275. Neighbors on both sides of his house also had their mailboxes damaged or knocked down, he said.

He said most of the homes in the area were built around 1994 by Donnelly Builders, and the mailboxes, made of wood, were designed to blend in with the houses.

"We went around and looked at all the damaged mailboxes and I talked to a few of the residents," Owens said. "They all had the same story. It happened early morning and a majority didn't hear anything, but they were all astounded that something like this would happen in this neighborhood.

"The general consensus is it was a bunch of kids just out screwing around. It can happen in a lot of neighborhoods but this will come out of our pockets to pay for this," he said.

Gary King, who has lived on Slate Ridge for 16 years, said his cedar mailbox was smashed to pieces. He has ordered a new one but said it will take a week until he can get it installed.

King said he and his wife were awakened at around 2 a.m. March 20 by a series of loud pops outside.

"We went back to bed without looking but the next morning, we realized, looking out the window, that the mailbox was in pieces, and looked up and down the street and several others were like that," King said.

He said traffic through his neighborhood has increased since Slate Ridge was connected to Palmer Road.

"Once they opened that up, the traffic has gotten real nasty -- kids speeding up and down the street and a number of people running the stop signs right at Farmsbury and Slate Ridge," King said. "It's awful scary how the neighborhood is changing and how the crime is moving out here to the suburbs."

With no real evidence to go on, Paugh said Reynoldsburg police officers will continue to investigate and be vigilant throughout the city.

She said those responsible for incidents such as this usually get caught because they begin talking to others about it and eventually are reported to police.

dowen@thisweeknews.com