Criminal damage to property/vandalism
Criminal Damage to Property is intentionally causing damage to physical property of another without the persons consent. Common property damage in the city of Minnetonka is to curbside mailboxes. It is a misdemeanor to mark with paint or other substance, post handbills on, or in any other manner deface or damage any building, fence, pole, tree, lawn or fixture in the city of Minnetonka.
- Park your car in well-lit areas in designated parking spaces.
- Make an agreement with your neighbors to watch each other’s property.
- Report suspicious activity while its happening by calling 9-1-1.
This is a message from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service:
Mailboxes are protected by federal law (18 USC 1705) and it is a crime to vandalize them (and to injure, deface, or destroy any mail deposited in them). Therefore, any act of mailbox vandalism should be reported to the Postal Inspection Service.
The perpetrators are often not identified in this type of crime. Postal Inspectors do not have the resources to investigate every report of mailbox vandalism or to conduct surveillances on Postal Service delivery routes that have a mailbox vandalism problem. However, the Postal Inspection Service will attempt to investigate mailbox vandalism when large numbers of boxes are damaged or destroyed and will investigate when there is evidence of tampering, rifling, or theft of mail from the vandalized boxes.
Mailbox owners can help prevent the vandalism or destruction of their mailboxes by obtaining Postal Service Label 33, Warning: Penalty for Damage to Mailboxes and Theft of Mail, from the Inspection Service. The label can be affixed to a mailbox and warns of the penalties for willful damage to mailboxes and theft of mail. In addition, the Postal Inspection Service advises a customer who discovers someone tampering with a personal or neighbor’s mailbox to obtain a description of the tamperer and his or her vehicle, including license plate number, and to immediately report the information to the local police department and the Inspection Service. At a minimum, the Inspection Service responds to any complaint of mailbox vandalism by sending Label 33 and a letter explaining its investigative approach to the problem.
Graffiti prevention tips
Graffiti incidents in Minnetonka have risen recently. Many garages, fences, commercial sites, apartment buildings, park equipment and vehicles have been damaged. Most of the graffiti is identifiable as “tag” graffiti. The creators of tags hope to gain recognition and status from their peers by placing distinctive markings in as many places as possible. They also might paint highly stylized murals or “pieces.”
The Minnetonka Police Department is asking local businesses that sell spray paint and related tools (thick markers, etching tools) to be aware of unusual purchases by young individuals and to report suspicious purchases to the Minnetonka Police. Many graffiti artists carry backpacks to conceal their spray paint and markers.
What else you can do:
- Be especially alert to activity on the streets and in the alleys day and night. Pay extra attention to areas where there have been graffiti crimes in the past and call 911 if you see graffiti occurring. Call 911 for all in-progress graffiti incidents.
- Call 911 if you see any suspicious behavior, such as people loitering between buildings or taking photographs of graffiti.
- Call 911 to report any graffiti that has occurred in your area. Please have the exact address or location for reporting purposes.
- Graffiti encourages more graffiti, so remove it as soon as possible.
If you have any information regarding graffiti or observe suspicious activity in your neighborhood, please call the Minnetonka Police Department by dialing 911. The non emergency number for the Police Department is 952.939.8500. If you wish to remain anonymous, you may call the "Confidential Crime Line" at 952.935.8000. If you wish to provide confidential correspondence, write P.O. Box 1255, Minnetonka, MN. 55345 0255.