Hudson resident Mary Tsoupanarias couldn't wait to get the two new pairs of shoes she had purchased online.
But when she walked over to her community mailbox on Cambridge Street to get her parcels worth $150, she found the entire community box for parcels open.
Broken locks were scattered all over the pavement.
"It's unsafe. It's not secure. Anything can be taken," Tsoupanarias said, adding that the community mailbox is in an isolated place with no street lights or homes nearby.
"I don't feel comfortable about that at all."
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Tsoupanarias says she won't shop online anymore if retailers ship their merchandise with Canada Post.
"Any other shipping company delivers to the door. That's what Canada Post should do — they should ship to the door, especially a package."
One-stop shop for thieves, union says
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said its members have noticed a big increase in thefts ever since door-to-door delivery was swapped for community mailboxes.
The union said community mailboxes represent a one-stop shop for thieves, and that not enough time was taken to ensure the boxes were installed in safe locations.
Officials at Canada Post insisted its mailboxes are safe.
"[Thieves] are determined regardless of the target. It takes an equal level of determination to deter and stop those who commit property crimes and we are committed to do everything possible to support the police in their efforts to do so," said Canada Post spokeswoman Anick Losier.
Canada Post has also distributed "Security Alert" flyers in the nearby municipality of Pincourt, just off the western tip of the island of Montreal.
"Recently there have been incidents of vandalism or theft from the mailboxes in your neighbourhood," it reads.
A reward of $2,000 is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.
Suspicious activity can be reported to Canada Post at 1-800-267-1177.
Tips from Canada Post to prevent vandalism and theft:
- Pick up your mail every day and as soon as possible after it has been delivered.
- If you're planning a holiday or are unable to retrieve your mail, have someone pick up your mail for you or use Canada Post's Hold Mail service.
- Deposit your outgoing mail close to the scheduled pickup time posted on the mailbox.