Thieves get creative in mail thefts

Mailbox unbolted and carted off
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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In a new twist in local mail thievery, bolts anchoring a rural Auburn cluster mailbox were removed and the whole box was taken away.

The theft took place along Baxter Grade Road. According to a Placer County Sheriff’s Office report ground bolts were unscrewed before the entire U.S. Postal Service cluster mailbox was taken away.

One of the victims along the rural road, who declined to be identified, said that the cluster totalled eight boxes.

“It’s tax season,” he said. “Post boxes get hit all the time but it’s the first time I’ve heard that they’ve stole the whole thing.”

The theft took place between 9:15 p.m. Jan. 28 and 6:45 a.m. Jan. 29. There were no witnesses and no surveillance cameras to record the theft, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

The victim said the Postal Service had replaced the boxes and restored mail delivery within two days after a crime that he learned from a post office employee had also been attempted recently in the Ophir Road area.

The post office employee indicated to the victim that thieves have been known to wrap a chain around a cluster of boxes and then use a vehicle to rip it off its moorings. The unbolting of boxes is new to the area and can be remedied with the addition of locking hardware, he said.

A request for more information about the crime from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service had not been answered by late Wednesday.

To foil mail thievery, the Postal Service recommends picking up mail promptly after delivery and using the letter slots inside the post office for sending mail - or handing it to a letter carrier.

If you don’t receive a check or other valuable mail you’re expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately, the Postal Service said.

And don’t send cash in the mail, the post office advises.