Investigatore hopes tip leads to mailbox bashers

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK | News-Telegram Managing Editor

Aug 22, 2007 - Hopkins County Sheriff’s Investigator Andy Chester had high hopes Tuesday night that he was about to solve a recent slew of vandalism cases.

But it was not to be.

While Chester and deputies Todd Evans and Chris Rich did clear up a case of a mailbox basher, there turned out to be no connection to the other crimes.

Two men and two women, all ages 17 and 18, were taken into custody not long after the report that a mailbox had been damaged on County Road 4586. Chester was called at home to come and question the quartet, and hoped these were the people responsible for the other cases.

"When I first got the call, I thought it was," he said today. "But when I realized it on the the north end of the county, I figured it wasn't."

The case turned out to be one of teen-agers mixing with alcohol, and one of the four is accused of bashing in the mailbox with his fists.

Sgt. Todd Evans and Deputy Chris Rich, who Chester said were "Johnny on the spot last night," found the four in a nearby pasture and took them to the sheriff's office.

The four were later released to relatives. Only one is expected to be charged in the case.

Meanwhile, Chester said he's preparing to follow up on a lead that he hopes will help solve the other crimes on the south side of Hopkins County. He said there have been multiple cases involving hundreds of dollars in damages to mailboxes and vehicle windows.

"We've gotten a tip on some suspects that I'm trying to find so I can question them," he said. "Hopefully we'll be able to make an arrest within a few days."

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