Three charged after letterboxes blasted by soda bombs
THREE Warwick youths have been arrested and charged with a total of 21 offences after allegedly blowing up 13 letterboxes at random around the Rose City earlier this week.
A 21-year-old man, 19-year-old man, and 19-year-old woman are allegedly responsible for placing soda bombs in letterboxes from north to west Warwick on both Monday and Tuesday nights.
Although the explosive devices were only small, Warwick police officers were concerned it could be only a matter of time before someone was injured or killed.
Warwick police shift supervisor Sergeant Gary Beling said the blast had shot shrapnel up to 25m.
"If anyone happened to be passing or come out (of their home) when they heard a noise it could be fatal," he said.
The force of the explosion caused the top half of Warwick resident Les Kemp's letterbox to become entangled in his jacaranda tree.
"I heard an awful bang, it was more of a thud than a bang, actually," he said.
"I was sitting down watching the 7pm ABC news (on Monday night), so it must have been around 7.15pm.
"I didn't go outside because I thought someone was shooting.
"It was my neighbour who told me about my letterbox.
"She had found part of the (C02) canister (from the explosive) in her yard."
West Warwick resident Larry O'Brien's mailbox was a casualty of Tuesday night's rampage.
"I heard an explosion and saw a big red glow outside my front window around 9pm," he said.
"I wasn't sure what it was, but my first thought was it might be some sort of pipe bomb.
"I walked outside and the mailbox was strewn all over the place."
Mr O'Brien said he had lived in Warwick his whole life and had never experienced anything like this before.
"It is frustrating and I think the vandals should have to repair the damage."
Warwick police handed the matter on to the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) yesterday morning and it did not take them long to hunt down the alleged offenders.
"We identified the shop that supplied the canisters they used and identified them using CCTV footage," Warwick CIB's Detective Senior Constable Glen Roche said.
Both men were charged with eight counts of wilful damage and the woman with five.
All three are due to appear in the Warwick Magistrates court for their first mention on July 10.