Mailbox thefts in LLA continue to frustrate
Lake Los Angeles - People who commit a crime intend to cause some sort of harm. The effects of crime can also last for a long time, and it doesn’t depend on how ‘serious’ the crime was. Some people cope really well with the most horrific crimes while others can be very distressed by a more minor incident. Mailbox theft is a crime and with cluster mailboxes we have here in LLA, several people are victims at one time.
Mailboxes offer easy targets for thieves – and are especially popular in areas with higher rates of drug use. This is a notable fact in LLA.
LLA resident Stanley Estrada who mailbox was rifled by thieves this week said, “We need to take action to avoid this happening again. If you see something, say something.” Laura Morua-Gosser whose mail was taken on the same incident said, “We try get each other’s mail. My neighbor is gone so I am getting her mail too. Mail delivery times are not consistent. It can range from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm.”
Criminals are looking for checks they can “wash,” or alter the recipient’s name and the amount to be paid, before cashing the check. They are also seeking personal information – which they may sell to other crooks – that can be used to open credit card accounts or steal someone’s identity for other financial gain.
Even though we purchase and maintain our residential mailboxes, the mailbox belongs to and is controlled by the USPS (United States Postal Service). That means that any tampering of the mailbox is a federal offense. That includes documents or anything that is put in the mailbox by someone other than a postal employee. We have a CONTRACT post office and contract delivery in LLA. Reporting to the UPS is sometimes frustrating, as those will testify who have tried.
Mailbox theft is on the same level as burglary in that it's a done-and-gone kind of crime and leaves no evidence unless video. However, it is still wise to report all criminal activity to the Sheriff's Department.
You can file a report online. Please go to: http://shq.lasdnews.net/shq/SORTS/sorts_intro.aspx ..... This is a great tool to report crime that is non-violent, non-life threatening ... that would be 9-1-1.
The possible solution: As a neighborhood project, work together as a team (WATCH) to install heavy-duty boxes on a heavy-duty pole, or as a group standard. To report online is a good way to go. Waiting for a LEO to come take a report can be time consuming. LEO is often criticized for slow response without knowing what other more unsafe or critical situation they are handling.
I hope this helps all of you and I am so sorry we have to deal with these reprobates. But we do, so let's find solutions and team up against the criminal element. I am hopeful my words are not DOA. It's always WATCH time in LLA! We have this element coming to LLA and some living in LLA. I am hopeful my words are not DOA.