The importance of getting a mailbox right the first time
Increasingly, people understand the importance of using a locking mailbox to prevent the fast-growing crime of mail-identity theft. However, many people believe that any locking mailbox will be cause for thieves to move on to an easier target. The truth is, though, that more and more, simply having a locking mailbox is not adequate deterrence to protect your mail from savvy thieves.
Remember the mailbox burglars in Lodi?
Perhaps you remember the attempted prying of Nancy’s Mail Boss curbside mailbox in Lodi, California? To refresh your memory, thieves tried to pry open her Mail Boss mailbox but were not successful in compromising the lock and stealing her mail.
This isn’t so unusual, but the crazy part of her story was that the Mail Boss was actually her FOURTH locking mailbox.
She explained to us that her first locking mailbox was pried off the post, her second locking mailbox was stolen post and all, and the third locking mailbox was pried open and her driver’s license stolen. Nancy is now hopeful that the Mail Boss will be her fourth and final investment in a locking mailbox.
After my high security mailbox was broken into and destroyed in Oct. 2013 and my new driver’s license was stolen, I replaced it with a Mail Boss Epoch 7108. Last weekend the thieves were back. They tried using a pry bar all across the top of the locking door. Then they attacked a corner, bending it slightly. I think the last thing they attacked was the key hole. This they damaged enough that the lock will have to be replaced but they never got in and my mail was safe!
While they caught and prosecuted the October bunch, I think the same people came back this time. They spent some time on the Epoch. When they went around the corner, they tried another brand but were working at the side and not at the latch. There are 4 mailboxes at this installation. When they didn’t get in the first stainless steel one, they skipped the next stainless one and pried open the building supply store model. Then they went east 1/4 mile and flipped the mail door down on a stainless box and either tried reaching in or may have use a grabbing tool but they didn’t try prying.
I am attaching pictures of the one pried open in October. The thieves really tried hard to pry open the top, the front and finally got the door open. If it had a hook like yours, they might not have gotten it open but the rivets look like a weakness too.
More about the “Other Locking Mailbox” that was pried open:
Nancy provided pictures of her third locking mailbox that was pried open.
The model is the Roadside Mailbox by Salisbury Industries. It’s a pretty good quality locking mailbox, by comparison with some of the other models available.
Competitor: Salisbury Industries Roadside Mailbox
However, the lock and rivets on this particular model make it more vulnerable to thieves. It is actually typical of the locking systems we examined prior to developing the patented anti-pry latch locking system featured on the Mail Boss curbside mailbox models.
Take home lesson:
While in some areas, a mailbox with a lock in it may deter thieves, increasingly that is not the case. Savvy thieves will use tools such as a screwdriver or crowbar to pry open locking mailboxes. It’s happening more and more!
This being the case, it makes sense to go ahead and invest in a high-quality security mailbox the first time around. That way, you don’t find yourself in Nancy’s position, replacing three burglarized locking mailboxes before finally getting a Mail Boss!