Mailbox announcement marked by Surrey thefts

DELTA; SURREY – On the same day Canada Post announced an end to doorto-door mail delivery for Ladner in lieu of community mailboxes, two such boxes were stolen in Surrey. The irony is not lost on Stephen Gale, local president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

“It sends an interesting message to the people of Ladner of ‘how secure is your mail going to be’ in these new, ‘more secure’ boxes?” he wondered.

According to Gale, the mailbox thefts occurred in the 2800 block of Surrey between 169 and 170th Street sometime during the afternoon of Dec. 4. While thieves have traditionally broken into community mailboxes opening each panel individually, in this case they appear to have simply ripped the boxes in their entirety from the ground and taken them.

Gale said the boxes in question were the newer-style community mailboxes that have proven to be harder to break into, which are the same ones that will be introduced in Ladner.

“It kind of sends a bit of a mixed message because (these are) the newer boxes that

Canada Post has been installing,” he said, adding that the former mailboxes in the Surrey neighbourhood had been broken into four times before they were finally replaced.

In response to the thefts, a Canada Post spokesperson said, “Canada Post is investigating this recent incident and working closely with local police. We take the security of the mail very seriously.”

The spokesperson added, “We will investigate this latest incident and see what additional measures we can put in place. We will be communicating with the affected customers shortly.”

While the question of what is being done to secure the new boxes is an issue unto itself, Gale wonders why Canada Post has decided to end door-to-door delivery across the country as thefts of community mailboxes are on the rise.

“We see different numbers, but it’s anywhere from 50 to 70 per cent of all community mailbox thefts (in Canada) occur within B.C. and a large portion of that is the Lower Mainland,” he said. “Surrey and Langley are definitely the worst, it’s pretty much constant and it’s really risen in the past year.”

The announcement to end door-to-door delivery nation-wide was made by Canada Post last winter and was part of a five-point plan to cut back on costs.

Households that already receive their mail and parcels through community mailboxes, lobby mailboxes or rural mailboxes, as well as businesses in commercial corridors that receive large volumes, will see no change.

files from Sandor Gyarmati, Delta Optimist

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