West Kelowna  

Mail ransacked, gifts gone

Alanna Kelly

Several Canada Post mailboxes across the Okanagan have been broken into and dozens of Christmas presents stolen.

Inside one of those mailboxes was a handmade stocking for a one-year-old’s first Christmas.

Tiera Bellerive, a West Kelowna resident, said the stocking was delivered last Thursday morning, but when she went to retrieve it, the mailbox in Tallus Ridge was completely empty.

She then found out that many other residents in the area were also missing their packages.

“I left for school to drive my kids that morning and I saw a bunch of garbage on the end of the driveway, so I went to go check it out,” said Thalia Dacosta, also a Tallus Ridge resident.

But what she found wasn’t garbage.

“I found 10 different people’s ripped-open mail packages,” she said.

A neighbour told Dacosta he saw people at the mailboxes with a key on Friday at 3 a.m. and when he approached them, they fled the scene.

“We are assuming it is a stolen key because they were able to take more than one person’s mail,” said Dacosta.

Packages stolen from Tallus Ridge ended up in front of a Peachland mailbox that was also broken into on Trepanier Road the same morning.

“There were packages everywhere,” said Leath Strench, a Peachland resident.

“There were Toyota car parts, a package from granny ripped open, homemade Christmas ornaments, cards, pictures and if there were any gift cards or any other valuable gifts…they are gone.”

Strench grabbed all the wreckage and took it to the Peachland Canada Post office when she realized the parcels were from West Kelowna.

“They must have broken into them there, and then someone is rifling through those packages as they are driving to the next spot,” she said. “There is nothing here from our addresses so I don’t know where our stuff has ended up.”

Canada Post had not commented on the incident by press time. 

RCMP said they are asking the public to remain vigilant  and pay extra attention to suspicious activities when it comes to community mailboxes, especially at this time of year.

“I know there were a lot of special gifts that were being delivered and now they are gone and it is very sad,” said Dacosta. 

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