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Residents Association of Greater Lake Mathews

RAGLM Board > Alerts > More Mail Theft!!!
2/12/2015 7:01:08 PM
Fixed MailboxReply: Nick G
We have the old style mailbox, which I've reinforced. Here are some photos of it completed:


I left the pics of the rear locking mechanism out in case the wrong person(s) are reading this thread. Hopefully these mods keep it from getting broken into again. If someone is interested in doing the same, send me a PM and I can give additional info.
2/10/2015 6:00:36 PM
thank youReply: Beverley
I love people again.....thank you wonderful community member for fixing the mail boxes.  Looks like a great fix to keep the crow bar out.
Thanks again, Beverley Lloyd
2/10/2015 5:46:34 PM
Our Mail Theft on Nightly News!Reply: Nathan
First let me say thank you to those that took the initiative to fix the boxes, I am sure others really appreciate it. This is just another reason I love this community.

The day this happened, KCAL 9 came out and interviewed a neighbor and the story ran on the 10:00 news that night. Just an FYI.

2/10/2015 5:02:49 PM
Mailbox fixed. Mail delivered.Reply: SteveS
  A couple of neighbors took the initiative to fix two of the three mailboxes that were damaged. The middle cluster box was fixed and mail delivered to it today. The cluster box on the right should be fixed and mail delivered to it tomorrow. The repair does address a weak point in the design and may prevent/deter future break-ins. Thank you very much to those who made that effort!
  All mail not delivered prior to the repairs will not be delivered and must be picked up at the Perris Post Office per the mail carrier.
  The cluster box on the left can be fixed the same as the others, but the lock is missing. If a neighbor has taken it, please return asap so that it may be repaired.

  I'll still be getting a PO box.
Identity Theft:
2/6/2015 8:13:30 PM
rolling meadows mail box problems....Reply: Beverley
When I went to Perris PO office to get my mail today I met a neighbor I had not previously known.  He is contemplating taking "our" middle unit to have it repaired and the outgoing slot closed.  this unit does not appear damaged enough to require replacement.  The PO office staff verified that it is our problem to fix or replace the units and that we do have "permission" to modify and repair them.  
I for one do not want a daily drive to get the mail.  I certainly will be proactive to always have my mail picked up daily to avoid loss of my mail again.  
2/6/2015 10:42:22 AM
PO BoxesReply: Sandy
We have our PO Box at a Postal Annex in Riverside.  Yesterday while there to pick up our mail, the lady working there said they may need to add a new bank of boxes as there were almost full.  More and more people are getting PO boxes due to mail thefts in their areas.  We are not the only ones with theft problems! 
2/5/2015 8:05:42 PM
Mail Boxes, Cameras, Lights and Private PropertyReply: Nathan
Please let us all think of others in this as well. I know this is a frustrating situation that we have been forced into but please try to remember that some of these cluster mailboxes were built right next to someones private property and do not have a legal easement for use to begin with. Putting security cameras or lights on someone else's property to solve your problem is not always the best answer. Remember to be sensitive to others rights and how this may effect them too. If you wish to put the bank of boxes in front of your property to make it more secure and implement any security features you choose that may be an option as well.

$150 - $300 to repair a box everytime it happens
$120/year for a P.O. Box and never deal with it again.

Seems to be some easy solutions, redirecting mail is easy and dealing with the Post Office is not.

Just please remember with all things individual rights matter as I would hate to see yours taken away for someone else's view of the common good.
2/5/2015 2:02:07 PM
reinforcementReply: Beverley
Excellent, Nick!  Yes, making the outgoing slot only a slit seems to be a good idea.  Anything thicker you can put in your otherwise empty box for the mailman to pick up on his rounds (according to him).
Looking forward to seeing the finished product.  Thank you for taking on this project.  
2/5/2015 2:02:01 PM
cameras?Reply: lid
Seems the county can place cameras at illegal trash dumping sites, I wonder if they could do the same for this situation Also the solar lights they use for road warning signs could possibly help Maybe a loud alarm system that the mail person would have to unarm to gain access to the back panel Guess I'm getting carried away wishing there was some way to spray the thief with permanent dye, and or pepper spray
2/5/2015 1:12:53 PM
ReinforcementReply: Nick G
Beverly, I have made a plate to reinforce the outgoing mail slot as well. I might also reduce the size of the slot to limit the amount of prying that can be done. I should have the mailbox finished this weekend, but that depends on the USPS guy meeting up with me so I can mock up the lock location.
2/5/2015 12:28:48 PM
Just a ThoughtReply: BillB
You don't suppose the mailbox fiasco here in Gavilan Hills could possibly be related to our drive for a different Zip code do you? Naah, the US post office wouldn't be that vindictive, would they?
2/5/2015 12:16:07 PM
mail box unitsReply: Beverley
I see the same units are available on line for $1,300.00.  Also spoke to the mailman who noted that these break-ins are from prying open through the mailing out slot.  He suggests "we" modify the new unit to have only a very narrow slit or secure it entirely (weld bar across it, etc) thus eliminating the area they are entering from.  The newer block such as the one in the middle are more secure as the back cannot be pried open.  I am anxious to see what our neighbor on Rocky Bluff will be doing, perhaps he should consider what the mailman suggests: only a narrow out going slit not big enough to fit a crow bar into or put your outgoing mail in your box for the mail person to pick up from inside.  He is not the reason we cannot have private boxes on Rolling Meadows by the way....

2/4/2015 6:59:11 PM
P O boxesReply: Linda
I called Karen @ the post office and was told PO boxes are $100 a year that is crazy. We should all get a discount. Maybe that mail box place on LaSierra is cheaper. It is a problem in the whole area.
2/4/2015 6:02:26 PM
mail box repair and more...Reply: Beverley
On my many phone communications today I was also told that the person the post mistress Karen recommended is also a retired postman....not to be disparaging of him personally, but this is just one more layer of this silly situation.  I agree with others, we must take this up the ladder and continue our complaints.  There is no rationality here: the mail was delivered along Rolling Meadows when the road was nothing but dirt and ruts prior to the water company resurfacing it.  What is the rationality in denying the side roads (or anyone) from postal delivery service to an approved (and safer) mail box.  Look at the ones that have not been abused......just my 2 cents, but I do think we need to make ourselves be known.  These properties provide the county with lots of revenue. 
2/4/2015 5:12:50 PM
Fighting the USPSReply: SteveS
After speaking with Shawna Rimke from our Congressional Representative Ken Calvert's office, I realize the opposition in this issue. The USPS and it's union.

Shawna said they have been dealing with an increasing number of frustrated residents with regard to mail theft and cluster mailboxes for the last three years. She also claimed they took on this issue approximately a year and a half ago, meeting with Corona/Riverside law enforcement agencies, US Post Office District Managers in San Diego/Santa Ana, and everyone in between, all the way to the US Postmaster General but got nowhere. Calvert's office agrees that the Postal regulations and operating procedures are unclear and inconsistent with good service but are helpless to make any changes.

Yes, we could write a letter detailing our complaints. We could make the effort to get as many people as willing to sign it. We can then send it to Calvert's office and Shawna has said she will be happy to forward it to the US Postmaster General. Then... we can either pay for the repair, go get a PO Box, or pick up our mail in Perris.

I'm happy to make the effort to fight. I'll certainly b*%ch and complain to anyone that will listen, but in the mean time I'll be getting a PO Box.
2/4/2015 3:48:28 PM
Proof of Burden or LiabilityReply: Nathan
I certainly would love to see something that states we are not allowed to have them on our own properties. I will be asking Calvert's office about that as well as my attorney. I want to see the law or proof of this as Steve stated above, this is unacceptable to force the burden on us but not allow us the responsibility. I will keep you all posted and I encourage you to call and ask the same questions as if they get enough of us asking, they may actually have to produce something.
2/4/2015 3:46:52 PM
private mail boxReply: Beverley
I have seen the mail person deliver to private boxes on Rolling Meadows, so why do some persons in our little community have service and others do not??  I have offered to put a private box on Rolling Meadows and told I cannot.  I also believe they will be vulnerable and likely will be broken into again, so would have to pay $125.00 + every time??
Also, the post office called to tell me they will not give us our mail when we go pick it up without identification, so don't go in and leave your ID in the car.....
Also remember you can complain on the US postal inspection service to complain about our local "service".  The next neighborhoods have individual residential mail boxes by the way...
2/4/2015 3:33:39 PM
Mail Theft Instructions - PLEASE READ!Reply: Nathan
I just wanted to add some more findings to Steve's.

Please contact Congressman Calvert's office and ask for help with this issue as it is a County wide problem and the County has no jurisdiction over this Federal Office. (951) 784-4300 - Calvert's Office

Click here to place a Fraud Alert on your Credit/Identity. It is free!
2/4/2015 3:33:18 PM
Repair estimateReply: SteveS
I spoke with the suggested repairman and the rough estimate is somewhere around 125.00 per resident. There are 44 boxes which calculates to $5,500.00.

However, he explained that the postal service has repaired/replaced damaged boxes in our area in the past. 

I will not use another insecure mailbox half a mile from my house, let alone pay for it each time it's damaged. Something must be done! Our community must not just sit back and continue to be victimized while the Postmaster essentially says; not my problem.

If we are forced to use the post office's community mailboxes, then they should ensure they are secure. After inspection of the damage, it's apparent that it takes VERY little to break into. My 6 year old could pop them open in one minute with a strong stick. 

The Postmaster has said that we may not use our own individual secure mailboxes and must pay for repairs on these each time they're damaged or deal with the substantial inconvenience of picking up your mail from the Perris Post Office.
2/4/2015 1:32:28 PM
Mail theftReply: Linda
I'm on High Country Circle my mail box was broke into also last nite or today. Hope we catch these scum bags.
2/4/2015 12:16:20 PM
Mailbox fixReply: Nick G
We live off Rocky Bluff and have had the same issue since we moved in 3 years ago. The contractor USPS recommends to fix them will charge ~$1100 for a fix that will not hold up the next time your mailbox is broken into.

After getting approval from the Perris postmaster, I have been modifying the mailbox using 1/8" steel and a new post to reinforce the entire box. I should have it complete next weekend. I'll post some photos when it's done. The criminals will need power tools and time to get into the box, so I assume they'll likely move on rather than take the risk. All in all, I spent about $180 on materials to reinforce it. But it should prevent this from happening again.
2/4/2015 12:06:31 PM
contractor services for new boxesReply: Beverley
Well Karen states there will not be any other mail delivery options for us.  And "this will not change".  We have to purchase the services from Mark Guzilo for instillation and possible upgrade to a newer more secure set of units.  His number is 951 288 3129.  Or possibly Yayco Industries in Apple Valley 1-800 587-5257.  And NO we cannot have residential home delivery or put our own more secure unit at the current site.  We could move it to in front of a close by residence to add security she stated, if it is close to the same corner.  We obviously need a community meeting to get this done. They will hold the mail for 30 days while we sort out our problem.  by the way, the Sheriff department will ask you how much it will cost you personally to repair this, I have no idea so I said $100.00 but I suspect it may be more. Suggestions?? My dogs did alerting barking around 10 pm last night, not the usual bark at a coyote.  Did not hear any other noise from my home.  My property is locked and I now lock my barn up at night due to these theft concerns.  Any other suggestions?? 

2/4/2015 11:38:40 AM
post office gestapoReply: SteveS
I own the single mailbox next to two community mailbox banks. I don't know how the previous property owner retained this when they installed the multi-box banks, but he did and continued to receive his mail there for years. I also received my mail in that single box for the first three years we lived here. A little over a year ago I stopped receiving mail. No notice was given, the mail just ceased to be delivered. Upon contacting the Perris Post Office to determine what happened, the Postmaster said I must pay for a box in one of the banks. I protested to no avail and eventually paid their extortion to receive my mail. 

Now that the banks are destroyed I asked if I could simply resume receiving my mail in that single mailbox again. The Perris Postmaster said NO.

Apparently it's too inconvenient for the mail carrier to place my mail in my box two feet over from the banks. We are now forced to pay for the replacement of the banks every time they are destroyed. 
2/4/2015 11:03:34 AM
mail theft Reply: Beverley
There is something strange here.  I have lived in a rural area almost my entire life and never have I been denied residential delivery.  so, we are "mandated" to use the community boxes and now we are told it is our responsibility to maintain/repair them??  I just looked at the USPS Postal Inspection Service site which states all mail is delivered to all businesses and residences in the entire country.  It did not exclude us.  I filled out a complaint, reported the case but the site is extremely user un-friendly and does not have these specific issues.  I would put a secure heavy duty mailbox in front of my property but have been told they will not deliver on my road as it is dirt.  Most of Vermont and other rural areas are dirt or gravel and they still receive mail.  Very frustrating, I feel we need to be allowed the same services the rest of the country has.  Thanks for the information on the contact number SteveS. 
2/4/2015 10:50:01 AM
More Mail Theft!!!Post: SteveS
Sometime last night a bank of mailboxes on the corner of Rolling Meadows and Rocky Glen were broken into and all mail stolen. The mailboxes are destroyed. I've contacted the local sheriffs office and Perris Post office and made them aware. 

Karen, (sorry didn't get last name) is the Postmaster for our area (Perris Post Office - 951-943-3535). She offered the phone number of a contractor who could fix/replace the boxes, as it is the responsibility of the homeowners, not the postal service. She also advised that all mail would be held at the Perris Post Office for up to 30 days for pickup.

The riverside sheriff advised that each/all residents/owners of said mailboxes contact the sheriffs dispatch (951-776-1099) to report this crime. They will issue you a file number for which you can report a fraud alert to the credit bureau.

This has been a very common occurrence in our community for years now. The only suggestions I've seen given by the Sheriff's and Postal Service is to remove all mail on a daily basis or get a PO Box. Good suggestions for those able to do so, however, there are many people who are actually unable to do this. These suggestions are NOT a solution. 

Here is a link to a PE article published around the same time last year.
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