An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
IF YOU THOUGHT your mail was safe in the new community mailboxes, don’t be so sure.
Living in a rural area, I pick up my mail from one of those boxes, and the anti-theft design of the newer ones is clearly much better than the old ones, but it’s not failsafe.
Arriving at our community mailbox this week, I discovered that thieves had broken into the outgoing letter slot to get at any mail that was in there. By the looks of the damage, they probably used a combination of power tools — such as a grinder — and good old-fashioned pry bars for their dirty work.
Several private mail compartments were wrecked in the process.
They also did some serious damage to a small-package slot in one of the other mailbox groups but apparently didn’t gain entry, perhaps scared off by passing vehicles as they were trying to break in.
Of course, I reported it immediately to Canada Post, which assured me repairs would be made within a week. In the meantime, I won’t be getting any mail because my compartment was one of the ones damaged.
Police have told me in the past that it’s not uncommon for low-lifes to be hired by contractors from the Coast to hit certain areas from time to time in search of mail that can be used to glean personal information for identity theft.
The local Canada Post depot reacted promptly but the media relations department ignored a bunch of my questions, refusing to provide specifics on what it’s doing about the problem.
And it’s clearly a problem that hasn’t gone away. A week is a long time to wait for repairs to be made, and designing newer, safer community mailboxes has to be an ongoing priority, because the thieves will keep figuring out new ways to break into them.
City dwellers who still get their mail on their doorsteps should be thankful, and hope the idea of converting all mail delivery to community boxes never again raises its ugly head.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today. Contact him at email@example.com.