JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) - An early morning joy ride is costing Ridgeland residents hundreds of dollars, and Jasper County deputies say they're looking for a suspect who destroyed more than a dozen mailboxes.
Deputies believe the incident happened early Wednesday morning. Some residents heard loud engines that night, and they woke up to see their mailboxes demolished. Whether it was a home, church or a business, no mailbox on Bees Creek Road was safe.
"First when I saw it, I thought maybe someone was just drunk and wandered off the road," said resident Timothy Schwartz.
Deputies don't think that was the case because more than a dozen other people on a three-mile stretch of road woke up to the same thing: their mailboxes smashed on the ground.
"It was off of one road that we call Golf Course Road onto another road that basically was intentional," said Jasper County Sheriff Gregory Jenkins. "There's no if ands or buts about it, it was intentional."
Deputies believe the total damage is somewhere in the thousands. Schwartz said the vandals cost him $700. He's already working on his new mailbox.
"This one's a concrete enforced post, so it will not break off like the wooden 4x4 did on the other mailbox," he said.
Even though his brand new driveway was also damaged, he believes it will help deputies find the person responsible.
"We just poured concrete and we found a nice tire track to give to law enforcement of the tire," he said.
Jenkins said they hope that tire print, along with some other physical evidence will help them crack the case.
"We know that whatever vehicle did it, it's possible going to be damage to the right lower end of the vehicle on the front," Jenkins said.
"They're actually taking this seriously, and they think they can find out who did this, so I hope they do because I wasn't the only one affected by this," Schwartz said.
Another frustrating thing for these residents is that they haven't been able to get their mail delivered. One mail carrier they aren't allowed to leave mail in the damaged boxes.
If you have any information on the mailbox vandal, contact the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.