CLAYTON HEIGHTS — Mail theft is on the rise in Clayton Heights, particularly in neighbourhoods with community mailboxes.
Monique Goodman, a resident of Clayton Heights for the last nine years, said someone started prying open community mailboxes in her neighbourhood right after Thanksgiving.
"My next door neighbours were away for two weeks and they came back after the long weekend to get the mail and noticed that the box was empty," she said.
"That's when she investigated that, apparently, there was mail theft."
Goodman said this if the first time she's heard of mail theft in the area, though she's noticed that crime in general is on the rise.
"There's been other theft like off of porches and things like that. You don't leave anything nice on your porch because people will take it."
While Clayton Heights is considered a generally safe area, Goodman said "it's really going downhill."
"My son is 17, but I worry about him coming from a friend's house a few blocks away," she said.
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet confirmed there has been a spike in mail theft in the area, as well as across the city border into Langley.
"We're definitely aware of the cases that have been reported to us and we're working with the Langley RCMP," he said, adding that police are also co-ordinating with Canada Post postal inspectors.
While no suspects had been identified by press time, police were searching for the driver of a possibly stolen red 1991 Ford Lariat pickup truck which crashed into a power pole in the 3200-block of 200th Street early Thursday morning.
The driver fled the scene, but police recovered a large quantity of mail stolen from communities throughout Surrey and Langley from the accident.
The recovered mail will be returned to Canada Post and redelivered.Paquet said residents should report suspicious people, vehicles or activity in their neighbourhoods - especially in close proximity to community mailboxes.
To prevent mail theft, Paquet recommended you pick up your mail as soon as possible, ensure your mailbox is secure and contact Canada Post at 1-800-267-1177 if you see any damaged or overturned mailboxes.
"There's a lot that they can do to minimize the chances of having their mail stolen," he said.
Anyone with information about the truck crash in Langley is asked to call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
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