News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, August 2, 2010

This Week in Crime: Mailbox Bombs, Burglaries, and Herndon Going to the Birds

What do Reston and some of Baghdad's more earth-toned neighborhoods have in common? Apparently, IEDs. Reston and West Springfield neighborhoods have been the site of at least eight "homemade bombs" since May.

Authorities are warning Fairfax County residents to beware of homemade chemical bombs placed in mailboxes and on front yards of residential areas.

No one has been injured by the bombs, which are made of over-the-counter chemicals, such as Drano and baking soda.

Residents have discovered flaming water bottles upon opening their mailboxes. In June, Lee-Alison Sibley began removing what appeared to be trash from her mailbox in Great Falls. Smoke started barreling out of a plastic water bottle as soon as she touched it.

"The bottle had already exploded, but some of the chemicals burned my finger," Sibley said. "My middle finger turned black and swelled to twice its size."

Fairfax police and fire departments are investigating. "This kind of thing tends to be the work of a younger person," said Renee Stilwell, a fire department spokeswoman. "There's no massive explosion, but it makes people feel threatened . . . and it could be dangerous."

The fire and police departments released a bulletin last month warning residents that "the explosions are powerful enough to damage mailboxes and cause potentially serious harm to persons."
Fortunately, the Paper of Record is there to provide the following insightful comments from its sophisticated readers:
Personally I think it's probably young punks. However, as far as I'm concerned they're terrorists, and if you catch one putting a bomb in your mailbox, they should be fair game, and there should be no penalty for shooting them on sight. Shoot one of them in the stomach with a deer rifle or a .45, and see if they "learn" that what they're doing is serious and not going to be tolerated.
Meanwhile, a 50-year-old woman was injured following a burglary on Park Garden Lane last Tuesday.
Police responded to a burglary in the 1400 block of Park Garden Lane around 11:20 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27. Someone entered the home, assaulted a 50-year-old woman and fled. The victim was taken to a local hospital with non life- threatening injuries. Police continue to investigate.
A Mercedes Benz 320 was also stolen from the 1800 block of Town Center Parkway -- pretty ritzy for a car theft round these here parts. By contrast, in Herndon, someone stole a birdcage from a house.


  1. Yes! Zero tolerance for those pesky young people!

  2. Pranks are generally funny and don't send people to the hospital with 2nd degree burns.
    Terrorism may be a harsh label but, perhaps I am an outlier, don't find the prospect of being splashed with Drain-O something to be jovial about.
    The ATF should be involved if they are not already.
    That this has been happening weekly and Fairfax County has said nothing until now is par for the course ... least transparent PD in the USA.


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