BURNABY (NEWS 1130) — Burnaby RCMP are looking for ‘prolific’ thieves who they say have been breaking into apartment buildings to steal mail in the middle of the night.
They say possibly five people may be involved in plans to steal mail from multiple buildings over the past few weeks. It’s unclear if they are working together.
Cpl. Daniela Panesar says in some cases they’ve taken mail from up to 100 boxes, and cleared them out within minutes, using tools like crowbars to pry them open.
“They’re getting in, whether it by prying the doors, or possibly following in residents who are, unbeknownst to them, are criminals attempting to do these thefts, and people are letting them in,” she says.
Police are warning the thieves aren’t just looking for cash, credit cards and other valuables. They could be taking personal and confidential information that could be listed on bills. Criminals can take that information and pair it with information on social media profiles to potentially commit further crimes, such as identify theft, and fraud.
“We have seen cases where a suspect has ordered credit cards and has gone back to the residence and intermitantly checked, waiting for that credit card to arrive,” Panesar says.
Police are releasing surveillance footage of the suspected thieves, hoping someone will recognize them.
“This is a huge cost for the public. Not only are you being victimized by your mail being stolen, but then it goes further than that,” she says. “You’re possibly a victim of identity theft, as well as further frauds that have financial repercussions.”
They are offering some tips on preventing this kind of theft from happening to you, such as picking up your mail dailing, not letting strangers through the door, and reporting suspicious activity to the police when it happens.
– With files from Isabelle Raghem