It appears mail thieves in Meadow Lake have grown even more bold in recent days.
In late December, several community mailboxes throughout the city were broken into, resulting in an ongoing police investigation to determine who was responsible. This week, however, similar break-ins were targeted at the local post office itself.
A sign posted to the front door of the Canada Post building on 1st Street East this week informed customers the post office boxes located in the building’s foyer would now only be accessible during open hours. This move was taken in response to recent break-ins to a handful of these boxes when the post office was closed. A gear-driven, metal gate has since been utilized to prevent access to the boxes overnight, but even that, it seems, has not been enough.
Canada Post employees arrived at work Thursday morning (Jan. 13) to discover the gate had been raised and even more mailboxes opened. The RCMP are looking into the matter and a forensics team from North Battleford is expected to be on the scene this morning. In the meantime, customers can collect their mail from the post office’s main counter.
These latest incidents come on the heels of the aforementioned community mailbox break-ins which were reported to police in the week leading up to Dec. 31.
According to the RCMP, mailbox doors were found hanging open. While it was unclear at the time if any mail went missing from these mailboxes, police did warn residents to keep an eye on their mail and, if anyone has information about this crime, they are encouraged to contact the Meadow Lake RCMP immediately.
“The RCMP are working closely with Canada Post and have planning in place to catch the people responsible,” explained S/Sgt. Ryan How, Meadow Lake RCMP detachment commander, when contacted at the time. “There are multiple serious criminal offences that could be laid in this investigation including mischief over $5,000 for the damages to the mailboxes, theft, possession or property obtained by crime, and others.”
According to Eunice Machuhi of Canada Post’s media relations department, Canada Post’s security and investigation team is aware of the break-ins in Meadow Lake and reiterated the fact police are investigating.
“Affected customers can temporarily pick up their mail at the Meadow Lake Post Office located at 204 1st St. East, Mondays to Fridays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.,” Machuhi said. “Customers must provide a valid government-issued photo identification when picking up their mail. We thank our customers for their patience while we work to resume regular mail delivery.”
Machuhi went on to say Canada Post takes matters such as these, as well as the security of the mail very seriously.
“We don’t divulge specific security measures or broader information related to our equipment publicly as doing so would hamper their effectiveness,” Machuhi noted. “We ask customers who believe they have not received a specific piece of mail to contact the sender. Customers concerned about identity fraud should contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. We encourage anyone who witnesses any suspicious activity to immediately inform the authorities and call Canada Post Customer Service at 1-866-607-6301. We also encourage customers to check their mailbox regularly and track their items online or on the Canada Post mobile app to follow the packages’ progress through our network. Our free FlexDelivery service also provides customers the option to have packages delivered to a post office of their choice.”
Anyone with information about the mailbox break-ins can contact the Meadow Lake RCMP at 306-236-2570. To remain anonymous, contact Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers at 1‐800‐222‐8477 or online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com. If the information provided leads to an arrest or a charge, or a case being cleared, it could mean a cash reward of up to $2,000.