Is Hitting a Mailbox a Federal Offense?

According to Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1705, hitting a mailbox is considered a federal crime when it causes damage to the mailbox or its contents. Intentionally damaging a mailbox can result in fines up to $250,000 and imprisonment up to three years for each act of vandalism.

Some movies portray this practice as a game called mailbox baseball, which typically occurs in rural areas, where mailboxes are often unprotected. The game not only causes expensive property damage but also puts people who play it at risk of injury or death. People whose mailboxes are vandalized should call the Postmaster or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to report the crime.