Thursday, May 31, 2012

Boise Letterboxing Vandal Unmasked

Many areas of the country have been subject to deliberate letterboxing vandalism. In Boise we thought we were immune to such viciousness.  However in 2009/2010 we were struck very hard by vandals. We had our suspicions and with the help of Ryan (Atlas Quest) were able to track down the school that the vandals were accessing the clues from (in addition to a residence). We followed the proper channels of reporting the vandalism to the school and opted not to contact the parents of the boy (too many kids using the same computers) that we suspected was chiefly responsible for the vandalism. We pulled down all of our clues locally and have been operating in stealth mode ever since. Normally this would be the end of our vandalism tale but here in the Wild West you must always be prepared to expect the unexpected.

And what would I constitute as unexpected? How about 24 of the stolen stamps showing up at my house the night before last in one of my own zip lock bags? I am tempted to say this was the work of a notorious outlaw but alas it was the high school student (and possibly some friends) that we had always suspected of the vandalisms. We knew he had accomplices because the handwriting was not consistent when they defaced the logbooks that were left at the scene of the crime and sometimes the entire box would disappear. I know we did not get back all of the stamps from the vandalized boxes. I am assuming they divvied up the loot after each heist and we will probably never see the remaining missing stamps again.

What prompted the vandal to return the stolen stamps? It still remains a mystery. They were handed over to a neutral party and then given to Alex (Lizman) to return to me. Only one of the stamps in the baggie was not mine. The real question now lingers…what to do with 24 retired stamps? I am a little overwhelmed on the time it would take to re-create logbooks and track down enough containers to re-plant such a large volume of stamps. Yet, with all of them missing it has left gaps in the adventures available for our local letterboxing community. What to do…what to do….


  1. Wow! That's amazing that you got that many back! That's some detective work tracking the culprit down. That would be a huge amount of work to replant all those.

  2. So if you replanted, do you think the vandalism would continue? Or is your vandal and his groupies repentant?

  3. Amazing! You could just plug at it a few at a time, eh? I just can't believe you got at least some of them back...

    It's nice to know that some vandals eventually grow up a bit and realize their error.

  4. Wow, that's amazing! I wonder if you could replant them over time? So many at once would be daunting, but maybe a couple here and there would work...or are there other letterboxers in your area that could help with the task?

    Also, here in the Denver Area, we have a "Box of the Month," where the stamp is changed out every month, but the clues stay the same. I wonder if you could use them that way?

    Just brainstorming at this's so sad this happened to your letterboxing community and amazing they were returned!


  5. I completely agree that a plant here or there will be the way to go. I think some will be local re-plants and some will probably end up out of state. It's just amazing that they were returned after all this time. I do have a BOM here in Boise and am on Month 9 of 12. I actually had 5 stamps returned from my Nightmare Before Christmas series that was vandalized. If I carve some additional stamps it might make another good BOM series. Thanks for the ideas and suggestions!

  6. Not sure if the vandals will strike again or not. I am slowly reposting clues and I guess we will find out. It was really awful and frustrating when it was happening. Hopefully they have grown up and are too busy to bother with being vandals of any type in the future! I do know where the vandal lives. I should make him go out with me to replant them all!

  7. Love good news. Congrats to you!

  8. we have loved your letterboxes and enjoyed finding them. It was so sad when all of your hard work and time were vandalized. how exciting that they came back to you.


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