Police are alerting North Okanagan residents after a rash of mailbox thefts in the new year.
Since Jan. 1, the RCMP have received more than 10 reports of thefts or attempted thefts from mailboxes in the North Okanagan.
“Community mailboxes, particularly in our more rural areas, often contain a large number of personal mailboxes making them an attractive target for thieves,” Const. Chris Terleski, media relations officer for the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP, said Friday. “When one of these boxes are 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.”
There are a few options for residents looking to reduce the risk of having their mail stolen.
“Make it a habit to check and collect your mail daily,” Terleski said. “If you are going to be away for an extended period of time have a family member or friend collect it for you or have Canada Post place a hold on your mail delivery.”
The RCMP provided the following tips for keeping your mail safe:
• Collect your mail frequently, at least daily;
• Have someone collect your mail, newspapers or parcels while you are away;
• Put a hold on your mail if you are away for any extended period of time;
• If you have an address change, notify your mailers such as all relevant financial institutions, insurance companies, etc. Canada Post offers a mail forwarding service and has change of address cards to assist with the process;
• If your mail fails to arrive, contact original sender to ensure they have your correct mailing address;
• When shopping online, avoid having packages delivered to your front door. If you are not home during the day, have the parcel shipped to your work address or to a post office location.
Residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity to police immediately.