Oceanside RCMP are investigating a string of thefts from Parksville mailboxes.
Cpl. Jesse Foreman of the Oceanside RCMP says that police have confirmed five thefts inside apartment building lobbies, over the course of three weeks in October.
Three thefts were reported on Oct. 8. One was at an apartment in the 300 block of Morison Avenue in Parksville, and the other two at apartments in the 200 block of Hirst Avenue.
Foreman says they were reported by a Canada Post employee who had come to deliver mail.
“The box inside the actual lobby of the places had been pried open. At that point you don’t know which person’s been victimized, or what mail’s been missing,” said Foreman.
“It looks like some sort of tool or instrument’s being used to just pry a lot of them.”
The fourth incident took place on Oct. 18, in the 200 block of Moilliett Street in Parksville. The fifth and latest theft took place on Oct. 29 on Stanford Avenue.
When mailbox theft occurs, Foreman says the normal course of action is that Canada Post will leave a notice in the mailbox of everyone who might have been affected.
Foreman says the Oct. 29 incident was caught on video surveillance, and took place at 4:30 a.m.
He says mailbox theft generally sees a rise closer to the Christmas and gift-giving season.
“Indoor and outdoor, people should be checking their mail every single day if they can. If they’re away, they need to have someone checking it for them. This time of year especially we get a lot of mailbox theft,” said Foreman.
“This time of year, thieves are after gift cards, or possibly anything that could link for identity theft.”
Those living in older apartment buildings might be more at risk, as newer buildings tend to come with more enhanced security features.
Anyone with more information about these crimes can call the Oceanside RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-248-6111.