Greetings from Seattle



Thursday, February 4, 2016

Crime

I work very hard at not being paranoid about all of the criminal activity that is happening around me. I prefer to be cautious and feel relatively safe. It isn't always easy.

There is a reason why we have a locking mailbox. On our walks around the neighborhood we frequently see mail that has been stolen from mailboxes, rifled through, and dumped. 
This morning when I went out to get the newspaper, I found this. Someone with a small pry bar broke into the mail box.  As I looked down the street, I saw other neighbor's locking boxes had suffered the same fate. Picture a single guy, or a small group, walking down the street after dark, popping open mail boxes as they went. They may have been looking for something of value, or may have just felt like being destructive. How annoying to a mail thief to have to have locked boxes. 

Fortunately we had collected our mail for the day, as we always try to do. We have let it collect for a couple of days when we are out of town for short stays. For longer stays we have our mail held at the post office. 

Most of our mail is junk anyway and ends up straight away in the recycling bin. But occasionally there are sensitive documents, like 
tax forms that have been arriving throughout January. Most checks got directly to the bank through direct deposit. 

We will repair or replace the box, and try to remember to have mail held even for one overnight from now on. 

But nothing is really safe. 

17 comments:

  1. Too bad someone doesn't have a trail cam in the neighborhood. That way you would have some way to ID the crooks. We get our mail as soon as we can after the Mail Man drops it off. :)

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  2. My rural Vermont mailbox was mostly damaged by the snow plows in the winter, but there was the occasional drive-by bashing with a baseball bat--something of a teenage rite of passage, Federal felony variety. One of our neighbors finally replaced his mail box with a custom made, super thick metal one, more likely to break the bat and maybe even pull a shoulder out of whack than sustain any damage itself.
    I would worry at this time of year abou identity theft being the motive behind prying open locked mailboxes. I do my bill paying online, but I do get tax information with all the personally identifying information right there inside the envelope.

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  3. How absolutely maddening. We've had things stolen from right in front of our house. We still have door to door mail delivery so at least we don't have that problem.

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  4. Don't know about your neighborhood but the postman in this 500 unit apartment complex we live in tells Bob we are one of the few that collect Mail on a daily basis. He says when the mail boxes fill up he puts a rubber band around the bundle and takes it back to the post office, leaving a note in their box to go there to collect it. These days most people use automatic deposit and pay bills online so they figure they only get junk mail. Identity theft is a worry. Also could have been an initiation right of a gang. Who know what motivates people to do mean thins. Very frustrating.

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  5. That's annoying, guess that's why many have a mail box in a postoffice but that's a pain!

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  6. Something like this really shakes you up. I'm sure most people, like you , empty the mailbox everyday. I'm with you, don't let the bad guys get you down.

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  7. Good thing nothing valuable was stolen.
    I always have the post office hold our mail when we are traveling.

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  8. Living here on a country road, we have had to replace several torn up mail boxes. Lots of times I think it was kids waiting for the school bus. Poppy put a stop to it for a while. He asked one of the young boys if he knew who was messing with the mail boxes. Poppy said, if you do, you need to tell them FBI has been out and put up a hidden camera.

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  9. Glad nothing was taken. I pick up my mail right away also and have it held when I leave. My son lives blocks away so if I'm gone overnight he stops by and puts the mail inside. Our small town has experienced a huge uptick in car thefts in the last two months. The police think it is an organized operation the cars, mostly Hondas, completely disappear. The upside is they may be gone already, small comfort.

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  10. Linda, that is really scary to have someone getting into the mail boxes. I never mail anything from our mailbox, but we do receive the mail every afternoon, and have left it overnight on occasion. I need to rethink that. Ours doesn't even lock.

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  11. I try not to be paranoid about crime, too, but it is so much more frequent today. Home invasions, with the criminals looking for drugs, are no longer unheard of here. Depressing.

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  12. I find it unnerving that you feel the need to lock your mail box. Mercy !! I live in the country and our mail carrier often leaves packages leaning against the posts and as far as I know, nothing has gone missing. Hope our bumpkins don't pick up on the possibility of mail crime but I guess it wouldn't hurt to be a bit more observant just in case.

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  13. That is so disturbing. I hope they get caught. We always have our mail held when we go away for more than a day. We do have a community mail box with locked boxes, so the likelihood of this happening is slim, but anything is possible. It is pretty crazy out there.

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  14. I haven't had that happen to me. Just lucky I guess. Theft or damage is bad but picking on the little guy really gets my goat.

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  15. Nobody in my neighborhood has locked mailboxes and I do worry that someone could easily go in and steal our mail. We never leave mail with checks in our mailbox to be picked up either. It's scary. I'm sorry you've got some mail creep out there doing this.

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  16. So sad. We no longer have packages delivered to our home address as they were being stolen. Packages are either held at the post office or delivered to work. Actually, getting packages at work isn't all bad as the boxes can go in their recycling instead of ours.

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