Half of Canada’s mail theft and community mailbox (CMB) vandalism takes place in the Lower Mainland, according to Canada Post, and Abbotsford has had its recent share.
By the end of January, there were nine CMBs awaiting repair in Abbotsford due to a recent uptick in damage, said Anick Losier, Canada Post (CP) spokeswoman, and they have now all been repaired. She said the number of the total boxes damaged was not available.
“It’s like any other property crime,” said Losier. “If there’s a will [to break into a mailbox], there’s a way.
“We are concerned with the situation and we’ll be replacing some [CMBs]” with heavier duty structures which will be more tamper resistant.
“We have a number of teams repairing those boxes, and we’re now hiring more people to help,” she said. Repairs are regularly completed within two weeks, but the increase in vandalism last month led to delays.
Sherry Fruno lives on Slocan Place, just west of Trethewey, and on Jan. 8 noticed the CMB located on her street had been pried open.
“I looked up to where the slot is to put your mail and saw a large note from Canada Post saying the mailbox had been damaged,” said Fruno. The note further explained that she would have to retrieve any new mail from the depot on Marshall Road. The depot usually closes at 2:30 p.m., but hours were temporarily extended, said Losier. As well, CP sends a letter to each affected customer if a CMB has been compromised.
Fruno is on a disability pension and already had difficulty getting to her mailbox down the street. But previous to this, she could ask a neighbour to retrieve her mail.
Her mobility challenges meant that it could be a week or more before she felt well enough to drive to the depot. She had checked her mailbox the day before it was vandalized and doesn’t think anything integral was stolen.
If you notice any damage to your CMB, contact Canada Post customer service at 1-800-267-1177 or visit canadapost.ca/support.