Residents in at least two New Hampshire communities have received anonymous letters threatening to burn down their homes because their yards contain signs supporting President Donald Trump, authorities said.
The typed letters, which are identically worded, were mailed through the U.S. Postal Service.
According to police, two residents in Brookline and two residents in Milford received letters.
“This is still under investigation. We are working with the Milford Police Department, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspector,” said Brookline Police Chief William Quigley.
“The fact that somebody would have the gall to even put something like this out ... this tips the bucket. I have never heard of anything as blatantly foul as this,” Quigley said.
The letters state, “Dear neighbor, you have been identified by our group as being a Trump supporter. Your address has been added into our database as a target for when we attack should Trump not concede the election. We recommend that you check your home insurance policy and make (sure) that it is current and that it has adequate coverage for fire damage. You have been given fair warning. Always remember that it was you that started this Civil War.”
The letter goes on to state that recipients of the letter should be prepared to face the severe consequences of their “preemptive actions against democracy.”
Quigley said federal charges are possible because the letters were sent through the U.S. Postal Service. The person or people responsible could face felony criminal threatening charges.
The letters to the two Brookline residents were not placed in envelopes, but folded three times and taped along the edge. The address did not contain the residents’ names, Quigley said.
The U.S. Postal Service has resources available to track where the letter was sent from, Quigley said.
He said police expect some problems during campaign season, mainly theft and vandalism of yard signs, but this is unusually worrisome.
Quigley said the residents who received the letters are shaken up. As a precaution, Brookline police have added the two homes to their daily patrol routes.
Milford police say they have had reports from two people who received the threatening letters. Additional complaints will be forwarded to the U.S. Postal Inspector, Capt. Shawn Pelletier said.
“The residents that received them are somewhat concerned,” Pelletier said of the letters. “I don’t know if they think it is actually going to happen or not. They are taking it seriously and we are as well.”
Police are asking that anyone who has received similar letters notify them.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported that a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden received a similar threatening letter in Maryland, according to authorities.
Federal prosecutors charged a Maryland man with threatening Biden and running mate Kamala Harris in a letter left on the doorstep of someone with a yard sign supporting their campaign.
James Dale Reed, 42, of Frederick, is accused of leaving the handwritten letter.
“We have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs,” the letter said. “We are the ones with those scary guns, We are the ones your children have nightmares about ... When We capture Grandpa Biden We will all severely beat him to the point of death.”
The letter also threatened an act of sexual violence against Harris.