This set of community mailboxes in rural Whiskey Creek is one of four broken into overnight Dec. 12, Oceanside RCMP reported. Police caution residents to check their mail daily, particularly during the Christmas season. — J.R. Rardon photo

This set of community mailboxes in rural Whiskey Creek is one of four broken into overnight Dec. 12, Oceanside RCMP reported. Police caution residents to check their mail daily, particularly during the Christmas season. — J.R. Rardon photo

RCMP investigate mailbox theft in Qualicum Beach area

Four rural community boxes pried open overnight Dec. 12

The Oceanside RCMP is alerting residents with community mailboxes to be sure to collect mail daily after four rural mailboxes were broken into this week.

Police were contacted by Canada Post Tuesday, Dec. 12, with the report of damage and theft to one set of community mailboxes in Qualicum Beach and three more in the Hilliers and Whiskey Creek area, said Cpl. Jesse Foreman, RCMP spokesperson.

“We don’t know what’s missing, because we don’t know when residents last collected their mail,” said Foreman, who said police are investigating. “This is a bad time of year, along with tax season, with people sending gift cards and cash. If people check their mail every day this will not happen.”

In three of the cases, Foreman said, the boxes were located in remote, rural areas.

“This usually happens in a dimly lit area, where there’s no one around to see it,” he said. “They always do it at night.”

The mailboxes, which were pried open by the thief or thieves, are the older-style, brown “superboxes,” Foreman said.

“The good news is, all these boxes are in the process of being replaced by Canada Post” with more secure boxes, he said.

Foreman added people planning to travel away from home have two options to ensure mail is not left in the boxes overnight. He recommended leaving a key with a trusted friend to collect the mail daily, or to call or visit their local post office and have a hold placed on mail delivery during extended absences.