One or more people broke in and vandalized six post offices in Middle Tennessee either Sunday night or early Monday morning, one day before an election where some people voted using absentee ballots.
Nathaniel Sims, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Inspector in Brentwood, told The Tennessee Star in an email Thursday that people don’t generally break into postal facilities.
“Out of the more than 32,000 postal facilities nationwide, burglaries are incredibly rare. For example, in Fiscal Year 2019, which ended on September 30, 2019 (the most recent year for which stats are available), the Inspection Service initiated 152 burglary cases nationwide, which resulted in 69 arrests and 54 convictions,” Sims said.
“It’s hard to speculate on the motive that leads someone to burglarize a federal facility, but the vast majority of cases appear to be connected to localized, general criminal activity. Postal Inspectors aggressively investigate all reported burglaries and conduct thorough investigations with the assistance of local law enforcement partners to identify those responsible.”
The Nashville-based WKRN reported that one or more burglars broke into and vandalized two postal facilities in Nashville and one each in LaVergne, Madison, Hermitage, and Mt. Juliet.
Three of those postal facilities, according to the Tennessee General Assembly’s Find My Legislator search engine, are in State Senate District 20. Republican Steve Dickerson formerly represented that district. According to Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s website, Democrat Heidi Campbell on Tuesday defeated Dickerson by 52 percent to his 48 percent. Campbell got 58,101 votes to Dickerson’s 54,299.
Campbell and Dickerson did not respond to requests for comment Thursday, and neither did officials with the Tennessee Democratic Party. The Star had hoped to ask them whether they believe Tuesday’s election, especially the District 20 one, in some way connected to the post office burglaries and people voting with absentee ballots.
Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden told The Star Thursday that the District 20 race attracted a huge turnout.
“There were 210,000 absentee ballots in the state. Davidson County accounted for 31,390 of them. About 20,000 of that total 31,390 actually came in on the first day of absentee. The first day of early voting included 20,000 of them. The last day that they recorded absentee ballots, October 29, there were 751,” Golden said.
“A lot of that district’s [District 20’s] votes were early votes.”
Golden said that Dickerson performed better in election day voting numbers than he did in early voting numbers.
Sims, meanwhile, said that burglarizing a postal facility is a serious federal felony, which the feds will punish by up to five years in prison AND a $250,000 fine.
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