2:37 PM: The person who lit two U.S. Postal Service mailboxes on fire in San Francisco early this morning could face severe penalties if caught, a postal service inspector said today.

A fire was lit in a mailbox at the corner of Sansome and Bush streets at about 2 a.m.; another mailbox burned in the 900 block of Pine Street at about 2:40 a.m., police said.

The fires were confined to the mailboxes, and no other damage was reported.

U.S. Postal Service Inspector Hilary Rickher said that damaging a mailbox or mail are both federal crimes that can result in fines or up to three years in prison for each offense.

This morning’s fires damaged both mailboxes and 23 pieces of mail, Rickher said. She said investigators have been able to identify the senders of the mail, and that the letters will be returned to them.

Rickher said it is believed both fires were started with lit newspapers.

Video footage taken on Pine Street shows an unidentified individual wrapped in a blanket lighting a piece of newspaper on fire and stuffing it inside the mailbox, Rickher said.

No arrests have been made but the investigation is continuing.

5:35 AM: Police are investigating two fires in U.S. Postal Service mailboxes that were set last night in San Francisco, police said.

The first fire occurred in a mailbox standing near the corner of Sansome and Bush streets at around 2 a.m., police said.

The second mailbox burned on the 900 block of Pine Street at around 2:40 a.m., police said.

Arson investigators were called to both scenes as it appears they were deliberately set, police said.

The fires were contained to the inside of the mailboxes, and no other damage was caused.
No one was injured.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!