More community mailboxes in South Surrey have been targeted by thieves.
Surrey RCMP confirmed Friday that one of the boxes was broken into early Wednesday in the 14900-block of 22 Avenue, and residents report at least three others were hit in the Rosemary Heights area that morning.
Police were alerted to the 22 Avenue incident just after 3 a.m., by a resident who heard a crash and the sound of ripping metal and saw a small, dark vehicle drive away from the area.
Subsequent patrols of the neighbourhood did not locate a suspect; all other community mailboxes in the area were intact, police said.
Canada Post spokesperson Anick Losier told Peace Arch News from Ottawa that work is underway to strengthen targeted mailboxes.
As well, a task force is working on a “multi-pronged strategy” to address the issue, which is a problem throughout the Lower Mainland, she said, noting more than 60 people were arrested last year in connection with mail theft.
Noting a “skyrocketing” crime rate in the area, Losier said options explored include a bait-mail program and use of security cameras.
“Unfortunately, with these criminals, where there’s a will, there’s a way,” she said. “These criminals are sophisticated and they’re using anything at their disposal to try to get into these boxes. It’s pretty phenomenal, the type of effort we’re seeing.”
Delivery to the compromised mailboxes has been suspended, with residents advised to collect their mail at their local depot. Losier said depot hours have been extended on certain days to facilitate pick-up, and anyone with concerns may call the customer service line at 1-866-607-6301.
Losier reminded residents to be sure and pick their mail up as soon as possible after delivery, and to immediately report any damage or suspicious activity around the boxes.