RCMP warn of mailbox break-ins across the North Okanagan

Mail thefts raise alarm

UPDATE: 1:45 p.m.

RCMP are warning of a number of mailbox thefts across the North Okanagan.

Since Jan. 1, police have received more than 10 reports of thefts or attempted thefts from mailboxes across the region.

"Community mailboxes, particularly in our more rural areas, often contain a large number of personal mailboxes, making them an attractive target for thieves," said spokesperson Const. Chris Terleski.

"When one of these boxes is damaged or compromised, it can affect a lot of people and in addition to the inconvenience, stolen mail often contains personal information which thieves use to commit other offences, such as identity theft and fraud."

Police recommend residents check and collect mail daily.

If you're going to be away for an extended period, have a family member or friend collect mail for you or have Canada Post place a hold on your delivery.

Police also recommend having someone collect newspapers and parcels while you are away.

If you have an address change, notify senders and use Canada Post's mail forwarding service and change of address cards.

If mail fails to arrive, contact the sender to make sure they have your correct address, and when shopping online, consider having parcels shipped to your work if you're not going to be home.

Police encourage neighbours to look out for each other and to report any suspicious activity immediately.

ORIGINAL: 12:30 p.m.

Armstrong residents are warning about a rash of mailbox break-ins across the community.

Rachel Hunt shared photos of drilled locks on a neighbourhood mailbox in the Armstrong Community Information Facebook group.

"Someone has broken the locks, but there are still packages in some. If your mailbox is on Patten Drive by (the) high school, come grab your stuff," she alerted residents.

"This is the second time I have seen this."

The post prompted others to report more mailbox break-ins in the Highland Park, Rosedale Avenue, and Becker Street areas.

The mail thefts have raised concern about possible identity thieves at work.

Some lamented the loss of door to door delivery, and one commenter said her neighbourhood went as far as pitching in to buy a security camera to aim at their mailbox.

"Our whole block pitched in to get a camera ... worked perfect! Solved problem," wrote Silvia Duarte.

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