Think your apartment’s mail or that group mailbox on your street is safe?
All it took was a crowbar and an inability to care about others to carry out a spree of thefts from mailboxes in Burnaby. Watch the video at the bottom. It's quite breathtaking to watch how easily they break in.
The Burnaby RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance to help identify up to five suspects who allegedly have committed multiple mail thefts at Burnaby area apartment buildings over the past few weeks.
“The suspects gain access to the apartment building, usually in the middle of the night, and steal the contents of the mailboxes,” said a police news release. “In some cases, the suspects have gained access to more than 100 mailboxes and cleared them out in minutes. With the information taken from your mail, thieves are using other sources of publically available information such as social media to build a personal profile and commit further offences such as identity theft and fraud.”
The Burnaby RCMP’s Prolific Offender Suppression Team (POST) has taken conduct of this investigation.
Police say it is unknown if all of these suspects are working together in committing these thefts.
In addition to identifying these thieves, Burnaby RCMP offered some tips to avoid mail theft:
- Pick up your mail daily. As you will see in the video posted above, despite these crimes taking place overnight, the majority of mailboxes still have mail in them
- Have mail held or redirected if you are going to be away for any length of time, or have a trusted neighbour pick it up
- Don’t let anyone in through the door that you don’t recognize as a resident
- If you move, file a change of address with Canada Post as soon as possible
- Report suspicious activity to police immediately
- If you are the victim of mail theft, consider contacting a Canadian credit bureau company to put a fraud alert on your credit report
“People don’t realize that criminals are using all kinds of information contained within stolen mail to commit further crimes,” said Cpl. Daniela Panesar of the Burnaby RCMP. “We want people to know that just because your credit card wasn’t stolen doesn’t mean that criminals won’t use the information on a utility bill to gather further information about you to commit further crimes such as fraud.”
The Burnaby RCMP Crime Prevention Unit works with building managers of both rental and strata properties, to help them to improve their building security. Contact the Crime Prevention team at email@example.com for more information.
Anyone with information that may assist the Burnaby RCMP in identifying these individuals is asked to contact the Burnaby RCMP at 604-646-9999. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip online at www.solvecrime.ca.