You haven’t got mail – police track letterbox thieves
Posted at 10:52am Wednesday 04 Sep, 2019
“Good old fashioned police work” was behind the recent arrest of a pair suspected of stealing mail from local letterboxes over several weeks.
Waitemata North Area commander, Inspector Mark Fergus, says a 111 call from a Dairy Flat resident who saw someone looking through mailboxes, was the key.
“Police used local knowledge and were able to stop the car of the alleged offender, a 38-year-old man. The mail was found in the car,” Inspector Fergus says.
More mail and packages were found at the suspect's home in Albany, where a further arrest, of a 49-year-old woman, was made.
Mail thefts are not common, but there had been a recent spate of them across Rodney.
Inspector Fergus says the perpetrators target courier packs and credit cards – using stolen bankcards fraudulently has become easier with Paywave.
“The thieves are looking for anything they can use or sell and can do a large amount of damage to people for a relatively small reward,” he says.
Police are working with NZ Post to return around 100 stolen letters and a number of courier packs to their owners.
Among those hoping to see her packages is Alice Brooking, who had two courier parcels taken from her Dairy Flat letterbox. She says she has since changed her delivery instructions and become a lot less trustful of her mailbox's security.
Another person targeted by the thieves was Leasha Gedge, who was waiting for her new bankcard to be sent out. Checking her account, she discovered it had recently been used, via Paywave, at shopping malls and stores to the value of $440. She says her bank covered the stolen funds.
Police recommend checking your mailbox regularly and, particularly in rural areas, locking them. If possible, collect bankcards in person from the bank.
The case is now before the court.