GIRARD — Around 200 copies of The Morning Sun were doused in gasoline at the Girard Post Office Thursday.
Post office staff called Morning Sun Circulation Director John Lair Thursday morning, originally informing him that copies of The Morning Sun’s shopper — a directory of coupons and local sales — had been doused in gasoline. Lair drove to Girard to see what had happened.
“When I got there, they weren’t shoppers, they were copies of the actual paper,” Lair said. “The people had the post office had done their best to air dry the copies they could.”
According to Lair, about 200 copies of the paper were covered in gasoline. He said it was obvious the gas had been poured from the top down, as only a few papers on top were undeliverable.
“They still had an odor, but they could be delivered,” he said. “The whole building smelled like gas when I got there.”
Lair got replacements for the undeliverable copies and delivered them himself Thursday.
The papers had been unloaded on the loading dock at the rear of the post office. The papers were located on the dock when they were doused.
While at the post office, newspapers are considered the property of the United States Postal Service. Tampering with mail is a federal offense, which can result in jail time or fines.
Girard Postmaster Donnie Grotheer said while the papers were still deliverable, it was a suspicious act.
“I don’t know if there was really anything going on, it was just the few papers,” he said. “But with all the things happening these days, it does make you wonder.”
Grotheer said he planned to report the incident to the Girard Police Department Thursday afternoon.
According to Lair and Grotheer, there was no evidence that someone tried to ignite the gasoline.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.