Authorities respond to series of ‘Drano bomb’ incidents over weekend

COVINGTON — Authorities are looking into reports of damaged mailboxes that may have been caused by a homemade explosive commonly known as a “Drano bomb.”

Sometime between Thursday and Saturday, three homeowners in the area of Park Place and Hunters Crossing discovered that their mailboxes had been damaged.

A homeowner on Park Place Drive called the Newton County Sheriff’s Office Friday to report her mailbox had been damaged. The following day, Cpl. Kenneth Kent returned to the home to follow up on the report and checked the area to see if any other mailboxes were damaged.

“I discovered that that mailbox (next door) had evidence of what looked to be an exploded bottle on the ground,” Kent stated in the incident report.

Another mailbox was similarly damaged at a home on Hunters Crossing, which is within walking distance of the other two, according to the NCSO.

“All three had damage done by some sort of liquid in a bottle that when mixed together exploded and exploded the mailbox,” said Sgt. Cortney Morrison.

On Friday night, a deputy was called to a home on Lazy Hollow Lane, a few miles away, when a resident reported hearing what he thought to be gunfire.

“When the deputy arrived, the complainant showed him a pile of aluminum foil and a Coke bottle at (a home on) Lazy Hollow Lane and stated that he had watched two kids run from that area to another home nearby,” Morrison said.

The deputy then went to that home and spoke with two 15-year-old males who admitted to making the Drano bombs, she said.

Drano bombs, also known as homemade bottle bombs, are often used as pranks by teenagers because they use common household items. However, when all the ingredients are placed together, they can cause a dangerous explosion that sounds like gunshots, Morrison said.

Juvenile complaints were filed on the juveniles for possession of a destructive device. Morrison said that it is not clear at this time whether the boys were connected with the destroyed mailboxes.

Covington police also responded to what appeared to be a bottle bombing of a mailbox on Tara Drive Saturday night.

Covington Police Department Capt. Craig Treadwell said that Officer Julie English was called to a home on Tara Drive between 10:30 and 10:45 p.m. when a homeowner reported a suspicious item in her mailbox.

“Upon arrival, the officer observed a melted plastic water bottle on the ground under the open mailbox,” Treadwell said. “The officer could see what appeared to be small balls of tinfoil.”

A deputy with the NCSO also arrived on the scene and told Officer English that the Sheriff’s Office was working on several similar incidents in the county.

The items were collected as evidence and turned over to the Covington Fire Department since it was an incendiary-type device, Treadwell said.