It turns out the bank of mailboxes spotted ajar and suspected of being broken into was not a case of foul play at all. A Canada Post spokesperson told NNSL Media in an email Friday morning the boxes in the Kam Lake area were “not properly secured” for a “short period.
“If a passerby sees an open community mailbox panel, we also ask that they call customer service immediately at 1-866-607-6301,” Valérie Chartrand wrote.
She said such calls are considered high priority. “We apologize for this incident and are following up internally to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
Original post, published Jan. 7, follows:
Another suspected mailbox break-in was reported Thursday in the Kam Lake area.
Jennifer Vermeersch was driving her son to daycare when she noticed open mailboxes.
Vermeersch said there were no open packages or apparent damages to the uptown mailboxes.
“It’s hard to know whether or not Canada Post left them open,” she said, adding that she noticed the unlocked mailboxes earlier than mail is typically delivered on her street.
Vermeersch reported the incident to the RCMP, who she said notified Canada Post.
“I think it’s a good idea for people to check their mail regularly,” Vermeersh said, “especially if you’re getting something more valuable to ask that a signature is required, as opposed to just getting it in the regular mailbox.”
This week’s possible break-in comes just weeks after a string of torn up and stolen packages and damaged mailboxes were reported in the city’s downtown ahead of the holiday season.
“A real life Grinch story,” is what Sophie Moss Hatto called the crime at the time.
Mail theft is a criminal offence, punishable by law. Offenders are subject to a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years.
A spokesperson for Canada Post, confirmed the company was made aware of the December vandalism, though she made no mention of the more recent report. Chartrand said all affected mailbox compartments from earlier weeks were repaired the next day and that the company’s postal inspectors are working with the RCMP to investigate the incident.
When these types of incidents occur, Chartrand encourages anyone who has witnessed any suspicious activity to immediately inform the authorities and Canada Post’s customer service department at 1-866-607-6301. Customers who believe they have not received a specific piece of mail should contact the sender, who can then initiate a claim with Canada Post’s customer service staff.
To help secure mail and protect identities, Chartrand reminds residents to: collect mail daily; track items online or on the Canada Post app; inform Canada Post, banks and all other relevant institutions of a change of address; make use of the Canada Post’s hold mail service to suspend mail delivery if you plan to be away; and use Canada Post’s FlexDelivery service to have packages delivered to a post office for pickup rather than directly to mailboxes.
“We take these matters and the security of the mail very seriously,” she said.
Citizens concerned about identity fraud should contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.