By Joe Beck
A top law enforcement official praised a victim for helping the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office solve a wave of mailbox vandalism near Edinburg and Mount Jackson.
The agency issued a court summons to Cameron William Wetzel, 20, of 180 E. Reservoir Road in Woodstock, on 11 counts of vandalism spanning Feb. 15 and Feb. 16.
Shenandoah County Maj. Scott Proctor said one of the victims obtained a partial license tag from a suspicious vehicle that led Deputy Christina Whorton to Wetzel.
Proctor said two 15-year-old boys joined Wetzel in the mailbox bashing, which involved incidents on Oak Ridge, Hollow, and Lutz Hollow roads.
Proctor said mailbox vandalism is typically a difficult crime to solve.
"In this case, we were very fortunate that a citizen was observant and took note of that tag number," Proctor said. "That was very critical in solving this case, and we are very appreciative of the citizen's assistance."
Proctor said Wetzel and the two boys used a baseball bat to hit the mailboxes as they traveled together in a car. The damage ranged from $30 to $50 in each incident.
Proctor said undetermined charges are pending against the teens in Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Court. Wetzel is scheduled to appear in General District Court on May 30.
The Sheriff's Office continues to investigate a separate, unsolved series of vandalism incidents around Back Road in the Woodstock and Mauertown area.
"Some may consider mailbox vandalism a minor offense, but when you have a series of these, it does become a larger issue," Proctor said.
Anyone with information about the vandalism should contact the Sheriff's Office at 459-6100.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org