Suspects in custody following mailbox break-ins

Suspects in custody following mailbox break-ins

An extensive amount of stolen material was recovered.

Two suspects — including one with an active warrant — were in custody Monday after a series of mailbox break and enters at Christina Lake.

According to RCMP Sgt. Jim Fenske via phone on Monday morning, two people were in custody following a break and enter at a mailbox on Franson Road at Christina Lake at 5:40 a.m. Monday morning.

According to a press release distributed Monday afternoon, RCMP responded after local residents complained of the theft in progress at the Canada Post mailbox. The suspects were located in a Dodge truck, and RCMP recovered an “extensive” amount of stolen property, including a stolen 2014 Dodge pickup.

“Numerous break and enters to sheds and additional thefts from Canada Post mailboxes were subsequently discovered in Christina Lake,” Fenske said in the release. They are likely associated with the suspects currently in custody, RCMP said.

RCMP are also investigating a recent break-in at community mailboxes on Whitehall Road in Grand Forks, but RCMP declined to comment on whether the two are related as they were still in the preliminary stages of the investigation.

Members from West Kootenay Traffic Services and the Forensic Identifications section are assisting on the investigation. One suspect had an outstanding warrant from the Cranbrook area.

Fenske said charges of break and enter and possession of property obtained by crime are being recommended, as well as “additional offences.”

A media relations officer from Canada Post confirmed “an isolated incident” took place, but declined “for security reasons” to share how many of these incidents take place yearly at Canada Post mailboxes or security measures in place.

“The incident was reported to Canada Post Security and Investigations and local operations,” Darcia Kmet of Canada Post said via email. Arrangements are being made to repair or replace the damaged mailboxes, and Kmet said that affected customers will be receiving a letter about picking up their mail at the post office during regular hours.

Kmet said there is no compensation from Canada Post for stolen mail, unless coverage is purchased by the sender.

“Coverage that is purchased at time of mailing covers loss or damage. The customer should contact Customer Service at 1-800-267-1177, get a ticket number and Canada Post can potentially work with the sender. We also ask customers to contact the sender to begin their claim for a refund or have the parcel sent to them again,” Kmet said.

Anyone with information is asked to call investigators RCMP Csts. David Forbes or Nicki-Jo Wolfram at 250-442-8288 or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).