Mail service to several households in Nanoose Bay was disrupted after a pair of community mailboxes were damaged in acts of vandalism in late February.
Oceanside RCMP warn that with the tax return season underway, residents should be vigilant and collect mail on a daily basis.
“This time of year it spikes,” RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman said. “Tax time and Christmas.”
The damaged community boxes are located near each other on or near Northwest Bay Road. One of a set of five, older-style “brown” boxes was pried open on Delanice Way at the intersection of Northwest Bay Road. Two boxes in a row of six newer-style community mailboxes were broken into on Northwest Bay Road at the intersection with Sanders Road.
Canada Post confirmed the mailboxes were damaged prior to Feb. 23, at which time new, replacement boxes were ordered. The units were expected to be shipped Feb. 28, and “installation will begin as soon as they are received,” Darcia Kmet, Canada Post spokesperson, told The NEWS in an email response.
Monday morning, March 5, a series of concrete pads were in place at the Delanice Way location, awaiting the arrival of the new boxes.
“Until work is completed, affected customers are picking up their mail at the Nanoose Bay post office,” Kmet added.
On March 2, notice was posted on both sets of mailboxes notifying residents to collect their mail at the post office location in the Red Gap Centre, at 2443 Collins Cres. The notice also said the incidents had been reported to Oceanside RCMP and that residents should call the detachment if they believe they are missing any cheques or valuables.
It was unclear what, if anything, might have been taken in the apparent break-in of the boxes.
In December, Oceanside RCMP investigated a similar incident, in which three sets of community mailboxes were broken into in Whiskey Creek and another in Qualicum Beach.
“This usually happens in a dimly lit area, where there’s no one around to see it,” Foreman said at the time. “They always do it at night.”
To guard against mail theft, Foreman recommended regular mail pick-up. Those planning to be away from home should leave a key with a trusted friend to collect mail daily, or to call or visit their local post office and have a hold placed on mail delivery during the absence.