Rural residents should heed mail bomb warning |

Rural residents should heed mail bomb warning

by Reid Williams

SUMMIT COUNTY – Local post office box-holders don’t need to be alarmed about domestic terrorist threats and pipe bombs, postmasters say, but those with home mail delivery should keep their eyes – and their mail box doors – open.

Summit County postmasters are asking delivery customers with private mailboxes to keep box doors open. Mail carriers will leave the doors open after delivery, as well. Independent mail contractor Richy Mead, who delivers mail from Kremmling south to the Silverthorne town border, was leaving notes on mail boxes that were not left open Tuesday, explaining why mail was not delivered.

“To receive delivery, the door to your mailbox MUST be left open until further notice,” the typed notes said.

A Salida resident found a pipe bomb in a plastic bag inside a curbside mailbox Monday. Federal Bureau of Investigation officials Tuesday confirmed that the Salida bomb, accompanied by anti-government letters, matched the pattern of 17 other mailbox pipe bombs found in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Texas beginning Friday, injuring six people.

The FBI issued a four-state all-points bulletin Tuesday for a 22-year-old male reportedly driving a 1992 four-door Honda Accord with Minnesota license plates. Investigators identified the man as Luke John Helder and said he should be considered armed and dangerous. Officials would not confirm if the man is a suspect, though he is wanted for questioning related to the pipe bombs.

The bombs are described as made of three-quarter-inch steel pipes attached to 9-volt batteries.

Silverthorne-Dillon postmaster Jerry Scott said if anyone sees a suspicious person near a mailbox, or suspicious objects in a mail box, he or she should call the appropriate law enforcement agency to report it.

Breckenridge postmaster Cheryl Binding said she doesn’t expect problems or scares in the south end of the county.

“Most of the delivery in the Breckenridge area is through cluster boxes that lock,” Binding said. “We don’t anticipate any problem with those.”

As many as 250 homeowners outside the Breckenridge town limits receive mail in the lock boxes, according to Binding. Scott said mail is delivered to about 975 residents north of Silverthorne.

Whether a resident receives delivery depends on where they live, Scott said. The Silverthorne-Dillon post offices deliver to customers in Summit Cove, Keystone and Montezuma, in addition to rural homes at the north end of the county. Binding added that homeowners associations often negotiate with the post office for delivery and purchase the cluster boxes.

Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237 or

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