14 votes

How should I deal with vandals?

Hello everyone,

I have had some recent problems with some jerks coming coming out to my house late at night revving engines up my driveway and breaking down my mailbox. This has happened three times in the past 8 weeks and I live reasonably far from civilization so the sheriff could never make it here within the 10-15 minutes that would be needed. I filed reports for each event, but i only have a basic description of the truck and the sheriffs office says there is nothing they can do. I am growing tired of this, the last time it happened I was out of town and it scared my wife to the point where she wants to move. I love where I live and will not be scared away. Maybe its just drunk teens but even then i am not alright with it.

So I ask you all what can I do? Can I use the Biden approach (shotgun out the window)? I currently dont have a gun but would get one. Am I afforded the legal right to shoot their car? or into the air? Perhaps a cleverly worded sign might detract them.

I guess I should ask the sheriff and will but was curious what you all thought because I have found my fellow DP'ers to have some of the most insightful solutions to the most difficult problems.

Thanks in advance

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I have had success with several methods

Nothing beats video. My video surveillance cameras have landed several people in jail. There was one guy that squatted down and took a dump behind my garage. When I showed the video to his landlord he evicted the guy the next day. I've even captured video of school children up to no good and showed it to the school principal, they knew exactly who the troublemakers were.
With the mailbox I took two mailboxes, one the small size and the other a large one. Then I went to a machine shop and had them bend a 1/4" steel plate to fit against the inside diameter of the larger mailbox. Then I placed the steel plate and the smaller mailbox inside the larger one with spacers and filled the cavity between boxes with high strength concrete. I saw one mark on the box where someone had tried to smash it. I imagine he might have even broken his hand from the shock that must have traveled though whatever he used to try to smash it. I have never been bothered by mailbox smashers since.

Turn off the TV Propaganda.
Find out what's really going on!
"Your portal to reality!"

Put up No Trespassing signs to CYA

Get a shotgun. Put down nail strips all around where they drive, when you're home at night (not your wife alone). Or dig a deep hole and camouflage it with leaves and branches so the truck will get stuck. Come out with your shotgun and hold them there until the sheriff shows up.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

the sheriffs office says there is nothing they can do


Wonder if it was their wife or property...would there be anything they could do?

How about post a car there for a few nights as a deterrent?

I am sorry this is happening...think of the best way to scare them off for good without putting you and your family in harm's way.

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

Game Cam...

End of problem!

View it as a wake-up call

After the second time the vandalism happened, you should definitely discuss a "worse-case scenario" security plan with your wife.

1. Reinforce all the doors. Check out Youtube demo videos of Door Jamb Armor--It will buy your wife (or yourself) precious time to steady your nerves, get a weapon and make a call if someone tries to do a running kick at the door or even uses a police battering ram.

2. Buy Motion activated lights and cameras. Protect yourself legally with a visual record of what went down.

3. Shatter-resistant Window Film on the 1st floor windows and exterior glass doors.-Again, you live far out so it's important to buy as much time as needed for your family especially in the event of a multiple attacker scenario.

4.Have multiple forms of communication-Internet, Cell phone, Walkie-talkies, CB radio, GMRS etc. It's good to be on speaking terms with your nearest neighbors too.

FACT: Bored teens have committed some horrible acts.

If you've ever watched films like The Purge, You're Next or Them, you KNOW its better to go overboard with security and not need it, than to need it and not have it!

Have you thought about a gate?

Gate at the end of the driveway?
Is a mailbox worth having anyone hurt over it?
If I decided on a steel pole in concrete, I would at least make it
very visible, maybe reflective red and white paint or tape to warn them. I wouldn't want anyone to think I intended anyone to get hurt.
You could get a wireless surveillance camera to watch the mailbox for a while until they return or leave for good. Then, you could deploy the cam to a better location.
I think the boulders, or other obstacle, suggestion is also good.

I agree with below, solid

I agree with below, solid steel pole in concrete. That will be th last time they try that stunt. Plus, they wont be able to do anything and you can get them if they try and knock on your door for help.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

Except for retaliation.

We have a cement block with orange tape at the end of our driveway to deter large trucks from using our driveway to turn around. It was cracking the cement.

Our house is on a hairpin turn that stupid people like to take at high speeds after racing down the street. Well, one evening they took the turn and rammed into the cement block. I imagine it did quite a bit of damage to the front of their car because they took it out on our lamps and front lawn.

Never happened again though - the cement block still lives at the end of the driveway.

I will agree though - it is a terrible feeling to know you have been violated - very unnerving.

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

Try Shot shells with rubber shot...or rock salt

When I was a kid I lived outside of Omaha,Nebraska for a few years. My friend and I would ride BMX bikes through the cornfields next to our small neighborhood...a farmer shot at us with a shotgun one day. Freaked me out. My Dad went to have a talk with this guy ( I was 9) and found out he was blasting off shells packed with rock salt. It wont penetrate anything at a distance and scares the hell out of whoever is at the receiving end. Of course, if you do that, be prepared. I would pack the real deal in case these A-holes want to kick it up a notch.

You would be surprised what they make in a shotgun shell these days...several different types of rubber projectiles, theres a shell called "Dragon's Breath" (or something like that) that shoots a 30-40 foot flame...you might have some fun!! ;)

Also ( i just remembered this story) A teacher of mine in high school lived in a house that was right at the turn around point for "the drag" where everyone cruised their cars on the weekends. He hated all the peeling out, the honking and yelling...so, he went out to the alleyway behind his house, where everyone turned their cars around, and he filled every little pot-hole with paint. Then every car that ran over a hole got paint splashed all over it. Not sure if he could have been held liable, but it sure made him feel better.

I'd rather have a bottle in front o' me than a frontal lobotomy

Paint in potholes

interesting reprisal!


Place boulders on either side of your mailbox. The Postman can reach the box, but any driver aiming for the post will hit one of boulders and damage their car.

If you live out in the country...

you NEED to be armed to-the-teeth!!!...and train extensively to use those weapons...you, your spouse and kids, too!!
By living rurally, you and I are taking on the responsibility of being responsible for our own safety. Remember the old bumper sticker, "when seconds count, the cops are just minutes away"? Well, that applies to you and me. We CHOOSE to live in the sticks and therefore need to be self-reliant.
I'm not a lawyer, and don't play one on TV, so my opinion on what you should do is worth exactly zero...however, a SOLID gate is a terrific idea. That and good perimeter fencing will keep out the bad guys, drunk teens, zombies and the UN armies. Also, I agree that your mailbox should rest upon a nice bollard. Truck-boy won't hit it twice, LOL.

Silence isn't always golden....sometimes it's yellow.

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." - Patrick Henry

Fake Wood Mailbox

Use a solid steel pole deep in concrete surrounded in wood to look like a wooden post. Next time he hits it, he will not be able to drive away.

BMWJIM's picture

Use a camera like

I have in the woods prior to deer season. Works well. Preferably one that works without a flash. This way they are not warned. This is how I locate the largest bucks. Then use the evidence to give to the LEO.


1976-1982 USMC, Having my hands in the soil keeps me from soiling my hands on useless politicians.

Garan's picture

Fair warning and driveway spikes. Or maybe not.

If you are unwilling or unable to confront them or chase them down, you could try a sign a some entrance-prevention (something to blow-out their tires).

You'll want to hesitate before doing anything that could cause property damage to them. As far as I know, setting traps for people is illegal. However, in some areas businesses have been known to have angles spikes that may blow out a persons tires if they enter a 'do not enter' entrance. So, there may be some leeway to do the same thing.

Overall, identifying them will probably solve the problem.
I like the bright auto-flood lights idea.

I've known someone who used harass people in this way (not my crowd).
He would laugh hysterically while revving his engine and flashing his lights, late at night in the person's driveway. The owner would come out, and he wouldn't stop. A really stupid, troublemaker teenager. All I can say is, if you don't know someone very well, don't let them take you on a late night drive. They might make you part of a crime. I'm just glad he didn't do his other idea: throwing rocks through windows. I didn't hang out with him after that.

All that being said. It's probably not a good idea to antagonize them. They are probably teenagers looking for a target. Identify them. You could try a paintball gun, followed up with a call to the police. Still, probably a bad idea.

Maybe some light flashes would be enough to scare them. They probably don't want their picture taken. Something cheap that they might end up stealing.

Replace your mailbox post

with a solid steel one, buried deep, surrounded by a lot of concrete. It will be the last time he hits it with his truck.

Why not just take down your

Why not just take down your post mailbox and get one of those that you can hang up right outside your front door?

Example: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=door.mailbox&view=detail...

You can also opt for a mail slot right on your door.

If the problem continues then just put up a camera and light by the door and u will have there face on video.

A friend lives in the woods

And a guy that (probably) robbed her house just came by a few times politely and quietly before the break in occurred. She saw him a couple times when she was coming home, once up her driveway, near to home. I presume he was casing everything to have a plan. Unlike the story you are telling, he didnt break things and act crazy.

What is wrong with you

What is wrong with you people?

Put a bullet in the car and let the police know you are concerned for your safety...unless you really aren't.

Bunch of sissies here..I swear.

I'm with you...

.223 size hole through the radiator. Just don't miss high.

I do also like the steel mail box post ideas.

Could get some .22 bird shot, hardly lethal but would take some paint off, maybe break glass. Would scare the mess out of them.

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

Cyril's picture

What about a flame thrower?

Well, in that vein, the OP might as well go with using a flame thrower - or more, to make his/her point REALLY clear for the brats.

But I take it people here had in mind for him/her of not overreacting, nevertheless, no?

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Be cautious.

Shooting blanks and salt rounds may sound like a great idea but it may not be the most legal thing. I know in Ohio salt rounds equal jail regardless of the use.

An Infared game camera is a good idea. Its passive. Shooting paintballs may just be a good idea. If you do please have a real gun in case they shoot back. No matter what goes down they will not be locked up forever and might want come back again.

Paul and no Bank.

Push the Vandals westward...

into France and Spain. Once there the Visigoths will contain them. :)

~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Best thing to do is try to diffuse the situation

Don't exacerbate it!

1) Find out who's responsible and document it. Posting a sign might be seen as a challenge, rather than being a deterrent -- maybe for the next guy but not them. Get yourself a GOOD security camera with night vision. Test it to be certain it will record and ID the person and vehicle under the same conditions the incidents have occurred.

If it should happen again...

2) Confront the suspect with your evidence, and request a full reimbursement of total damages. Chances are this is one or more teenagers just being stupid, and if you live in a rural area chances are you know them or have seen them or their vehicle around. If it's an adult then chances are VERY good you know them (e.g. disgruntled neighbor or co-worker). Confrontation in my opinion (as uncomfortable as that may be) is the best approach to diffuse the matter because it gives the other party an opportunity to do the right thing without you being counter threatening. It can open a dialog if this was being done in malice. You can always go to the authorities later if that doesn't work. In fact, I would point that out by saying "Look, I came to you because I was hoping we could settle this without having to involve the authorities."

3) After this incident has been resolved set out your signs that indicate you have 24/7 monitored security.

Lastly, yes I would get a gun but not for this case, NOT TO MAKE THREATS! Again, you don't want to exacerbate the situation. Get a gun and learn how to properly use it. Remember, anytime you pick up a gun in opposition to someone it means you are prepared to use deadly force. Does a broken mailbox warrant deadly force? Nope! Have a gun ready for those unforeseen situations that do warrant immediate defense of your life and those you love.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

If men are good, you don't need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don't dare have one.

Get a gate for your driveway

if you don't have one already.

And sometimes the good guys win. One late Friday night, I saw from my house 3 teens walking down the middle of the road (suburban residential). They seemed ok since there are no sidewalks but I keep watching. And then they pull mail out of the neighbor's mailbox and throw it on the street. So I put on my tennis shoes and head out to the street to follow them. I tried to pretend like I was a clueless jogger but they knew better and took off! I have fairly good speed so was able to stay somewhat close until they got to the end of the street and ran around a house. I decided to take some time going around the house on the chance they may be hiding and pull knives on me.

By the time I did that and went over to the next street, I could barely see them heading for some apartments. Yeah I guess all that impending doom verbiage I was spewing got their adrenaline and wheels moving. Never saw them again for the next year that I was in that house.

Sounds like more

Than just kids. Maybe get a portable motion deer camera to take picture. Maybe get plate number I don't think that their very expensive any more. Good luck. Kids don't usually hit just one mail box. They hit many. I lived once in the country .When my box was destroy so were some of my neighbors. Being a electrician and working with Millwrights. I had one friend make a diamond boiler plate mail box held together with B line metal screws to a 4x4 treated lumber and cemented in the ground. Built like a tank . Been hit by two cars. Snapped the pole. screwed the cars up bad. Box was fine. Replaced pole. Last car darn near totaled. The drunks were OK. Car was wrecked and in the ditch. So was my metal mail box lying in the ditch. I pick up the ok box and put it away. I never put it back again. I was glad the box didn't go threw the window. About the time a sheriff came when I put the box in my truck. At 530 in morning I went to work. What happen to the two drunk's I don't know.

Money talks and dogs bark

Cyril's picture

Good luck dealing with the jerks, anyway.

Good luck dealing with the jerks, anyway.

They tend to rule these days :/

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Get an AR-15 and load a 30

Get an AR-15 and load a 30 round clip with BLANKS, then start firing them off rapidly. Just make sure you don't mix up your clips.

Cyril's picture

LOL. What about the neighbors


What about the neighbors trying to watch HBO?

The OP might want to sync up with them, first!

Oh, wait, no close neighbors... All good! I like your idea ;)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

TwelveOhOne's picture

LOL yourself

I had this vision of the OP looking at the TV guide, for when exactly the gunshots would be heard in whatever show HBO was broadcasting at the time, and "syncing up" when they themselves fired at the vandals. Thanks. :)

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