Local officials looking for leads to mailbox explosions in Tyler


POSTED: Monday, January 6, 2014 - 5:34pm

UPDATED: Monday, January 6, 2014 - 6:44pm

Tyler Police and Fire Department are asking for your help. They're trying to track down those responsible for blowing up mailboxes in south Tyler.

It happened around 6:30 p.m. Saturday night. Two Tyler resident's mailboxes were blown up by a firework and another resident's backyard on the other side of town caught on fire. Neighbors and witnesses called frantically 911 when they saw two mailboxes go up in flames. Tyler Police and Fire officials responded to two locations in south Tyler, one near Redcoat Ln. off of Copeland and the other near Prudue Dr. off of S. Broadway. The grassfire happened by Timberlake Cr. behind Fresh.

We spoke to one neighbor on Redcoat Ln. who lives across the street from where the explosion happened. She said they heard a loud bang and all the neighbors ran outside.

"It was unbelievable. It happened so quickly in fact one guy that lives a couple blocks away said it shook my whole house and my windows and I'm just wondering what happened," said neighbor Laverne Gollob.

Gollob said she never imagined something like this could happen in her quiet neighborhood.

"We've never had this type of thing happen before ever because we live in a very safe I thought safe neighborhood but you have to be careful."

Local officials said the two mailbox explosions and the grass fire were caused by an explosive. A firework called an artillery shell.

"These are the ones you can buy at the firework stand. They actually come with their own mechanism it's the ones that shoot straight up in the air and explode really high. They're probably one of the stronger explosives you can buy out of a stand," said Tyler Asst. Fire Marshal Brandon Davis.

Witnesses said they saw a 2004 to 2008 black or dark green Chevrolet extended cab truck with possibly three people inside leave the scene. Local officials believe this car was linked to all three incidents. There is up to a $1,000 reward for anyone who has any information on this crime.

Anyone with any information can contact the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000 or Crimestoppers at 903-597-CUFF (903-597-2833).

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