November 12

Updated: Reports of mail theft continue in Maple Leaf



Update Friday 11/13:

A neighbor on Eighth Avenue Northeast reports her locked mailbox was pried open, the contents taken and the box destroyed, sometime between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Update 2:30 p.m.:

From Nextdoor Northgate/Mapleleaf:

Sorry to report that a set of locked mailboxes were pried open (guessing with a crow bar) and mail was stolen. This was in broad daylight and probably shortly after the mail was delivered in the early afternoon.

Police have been contacted, but if anyone saw anything or anyone suspicious please report it. (Location was Second Avenue Northeast and Northeast 91st Street.)

We have lived in Maple Leaf for over 20 years. I am so sad that our neighborhood seems to have taken a real turn for the worse lately.


John emails this morning:

“Second known mail theft from Northeast 97th Street in two weeks (not counting the suspicious character we confronted recently on Eighth Avenue Northeast).

“11/12/15 8:20 a.m. I found 2 letters in the gutter in front of the school from one of my neighbors on 97th. Outbound bills, opened, checks missing.

“DO NOT MAIL CHECKS FROM YOUR MAILBOX. At best, your payment will vanish. At worst, the thieves will wash your checks and forge them. And anything else you mail this way is liable to disappear — they don’t know your letter to Mom doesn’t have a check in it until they’ve stolen and opened it. Forget all about that red flag on your mailbox — I haven’t used mine in 20 years.

“Certain types of pens (”uni-ball”, among others) have special inks formulated to get trapped in the paper and resist washing or other document alteration (some documents are required to be signed in blue or color to make photocopying more difficult).

“I never have anything delivered to my door — I have things delivered at work. While walking my dog, I have found stolen/emptied Amazon boxes numerous times. Finding batches of stolen mail is almost routine.

“Here’s a fun hobby project for you tech-savvy folks: if they can get good video of snow leopards in Kyrgyzstan with a camera trap, it couldn’t be too hard to bait a mailbox in Maple Leaf.”

The map shows police reports of mail theft in Maple Leaf so far this year.

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Sara W

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  1. We were expecting a package today. When we got home from work there was a neatly folded brand new Gap skirt and no package. After investigation, we have been told this is a case of leaving something they didn’t want (probably from someone else’s stolen package) and taking our package. Our neighbors will be watching the house more closely now.

  2. CBU mailbox for 16 residents cost us about $120 per neighbor. Secure mail delivery, secure package delivery, secure out going mail slot.
    Take a look at the WSP most wanted list and tell me if you see anything unusual.

  3. Security mailboxes aren’t enough . . .
    I did some research into this.
    There are two types of “attacks” on mailboxes
    1) fishing – pretty self explanatory – stick your hand in the slot to “fish” out anything you can – I poo poo’ed this, but then my wife with a skinny arm and hand showed me how easy it was on our own mailbox
    2) Prying/popping the lock – a large screwdriver can pry/pop even the best locks and doors on 95% of all mailboxes

    You have to jump up to the 400-500 dollar level to mitigate these two common attacks

    So, a simple solution is to get an offsite secure mailbox such as The Pony Express in Lake City or mailboxes etc. or the like

    The nice thing about that is you can have ALL your mail AND your deliveries sent there and it will always be secure.

    It cost about 150 per year, but the peace of mind is well worth it.

    I am about ready to remove my mailbox completely so I don’t have to remove the junk mail from it.

    Say, that sounds like a Seinfeld episode – Kramer bricked his mailbox shut

  4. Certain things still have to paid by check, sadly, yes.

    But what’s more concerning is how rampant this problem is. The map only shows reported mail thefts. We can assume for every reported instance, many more must go unreported. You can see the spread of security mailboxes throughout this neighbourhood just driving around. If the city and police are unable to crack down on this problem effectively, then the city should be subsidizing universal security mailboxes in the entire neighbourhood. For as common as mail theft is, it’s rare that we hear about arrests relating to mail theft.

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