Posted by: Noni | August 14, 2010

Did you get your wedding invitation yet?

Imagine you’re getting married in 2 months…

You pop your invitations in the mail and wait for the RSVP’s to start rolling in…

Heidi - Facebook Status 1

And the next day…

Heidi - Facebook Status 2

Then the next day…

Heidi - Facebook Status 3

Planning a wedding can be stressful enough, but having your invitations stolen!

That’s an unplanned for logistical catastrophe!  Here’s how it went down for Heidi:

-Monday I called Canada Post (CP) because my invites hadn’t arrived, CP said don’t worry not abnormal.
-Thursday I called in the morning…still no invites…CP still did nothing.
-Thursday I drove by the mail box it was gone, called CP, they weren’t going to do anything until I pleaded with the lady to open an inquiry, which she didn’t want to do, but finally agreed to.
-Friday a friend in the neighborhood, called saying she heard a rumor that the box had been tampered with, she gave me the care takers number and he was the one who informed me that the box had been broken into and was removed because of frequent break ins, he is also the one who told me the time frame in which it had been broken into.
-Friday afternoon I called CP, still they gave me no info, finally after 5 minutes on the phone CP worker said…Mailbox removed due to frequent break ins,
case closed.  NO ONE called me to tell me this even though there was an inquiry opened.
-CP, never gave me info I had to find it myself, I had to beg for them to do something, totally not helpful.  I have now opened a 2nd inquiry to find out what happened to the contents of the mailbox and no one has contacted me about that either.  The first time I called they could have taken a few extra minutes to find out what was going on,  (if I had known the truth) I would have had my new invites by now.

Google searches for “mail theft, mail tampering and mail vandalism” produced results on prevention but not policy for stolen mail.  Huh???  What are you supposed to do when it happens?

  • What recourse do you have as a victim?
  • What is the proper method for reporting and documenting the theft?
  • Are you supposed to call the police? 911 or non-emergency?
  • How will you be compensated for your losses?
  • Who is responsible for investigating the crime?
  • Is the public aware that red letter boxes are not secure?
  • Should citizens be notified of vandalism or thefts in their neighborhood?
  • What does Canada Post say about mail theft?

    Q. What should I do if I suspect my mail has been stolen?
    A. If you believe or suspect that your mail is being stolen while in the course of post, you may contact a Customer Service representative and file a complaint, which will be subsequently referred to Postal Inspectors.
    * Please note that all investigations are initiated at the point of origin and the Sender must initiate the complaint.

    What is the Canadian law regarding mail theft?

    Under section 402.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada,

    Everyone commits an offence who knowingly obtains or possesses another person’s identity information in circumstances giving rise to a reasonable inference that the information is intended to be used to commit an indictable offence that includes fraud, deceit or falsehood as an element of the offence.is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    Under section 403 of the Criminal Code of Canada,

    (1) Everyone commits an offence who fraudulently personates another person, living or dead,(a) with intent to gain advantage for themselves or another person; (b) with intent to obtain any property or an interest in any property; (c) with intent to cause disadvantage to the person being personated or another person; or (d) with intent to avoid arrest or prosecution or to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice. is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years; or guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    Confused?  You bet!  I’m accustomed to finding solutions with my research.  I sent the following email to the RCMP

    (*To an address listed in an article on the RCMP website.)

    ———————————————————————–

    NEW THEFT OF MAIL – Unreported
    My son and his fiancé had their wedding invitations (among other items) stolen from a Canada Post Red street letter box in Coquitlam.  (According to Canada Post – Apparently between 9am August 6th, 2010 and 9am August 9th, 2010)
    None of guests had received their invitations so Heidi Kaario (the bride to be) called Canada Post to inquire.  Several days and 4 calls later she was finally notified that the mailbox had been stolen. (Correction – Heidi found out from a community member, NOT from her communications with Canada Post)
    Canada Post was NOT helpful in this matter.  I believe that stealing of mail is a federal offence and a crime.  Shouldn’t there be a proper procedure for documenting and reporting these crimes?
    Why wasn’t she notified after they found out about the stolen box?  (She had left her information on 3 calls prior.)
    I searched for hours online and could find no information other than the following from the Canada Post website.

    http://www.canadapost-postescanada.ca/cpo/mc/aboutus/corporate/security/mailtheft.jsf

    Security of outgoing mail

    Red street letter boxes are located for your convenience throughout all urban areas. Here are a number of ways to help keep your outgoing mail secure:

    • Use postal money orders, available at all post offices, for all your cash transactions.
    • Deposit your mail close to the scheduled pickup time posted on the mailbox.
    • Deposit mail items containing sensitive/financial information/business or large quantities of mail at your local post office.
    • If you see any suspicious activity, call police at 911 immediately.
    • If you see a mailbox that is overturned or vandalized, please contact Canada Post at 1-800-267-1177.
    This information was NOT easy to find.  My Google search was for report stolen mail.  All the results were for mail that had been stolen from residences, business or community delivery boxes, not for what to do about mail stolen from  a government institution.
    Please advise as to a suitable course of action. I appreciate your attention to this matter.
    Thank you,
    Alison Richards
    Per:
    Heidi & Jeremy
    ——————————————————————

    Here’s the response from the RCMP.

    Hi, Alison,

    I have forwarded you email to Coquitlam RCMP.

    Visit our web site to find out more about the RCMP in B.C.

    Consultez notre site Web pour en apprendre davantage sur la GRC en C.-B.

    http://bc.rcmp.ca

    ——————————————————————————————-

    So, besides having a fabulous wedding with all her guests present, what does Heidi hope for?

    “Basically I want them to pay for my new invites and postage.”

    (At the very least one would hope!)

    At this time there has been no resolution in this matter.  Heidi (and I) are waiting to hear back from the RCMP and Canada Post.

  • Were  you aware of these acts of vandalism and theft?
  • Has your mail been stolen or your property vandalized?
  • Have mailboxes been removed from your neighborhood?
  • If so, were you notified that they were being removed.
  • Please add your comments, share your advise and experiences in the comment area below.
  • No matter what the outcome,  the text on Jeremy and Heidi’s wedding invitation sums it up best:

    Love bears all things,

    Believes all things,

    Endures all things.

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    Responses

    1. http://bc.rcmp.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=50&languageId=1&contentId=12630&sms_ss=email
      RCMP webpage

      Like

    2. Canada Post removes more than 20 mailboxes

      http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2704841

      Like

    3. Spoke to Heidi yesterday. She said that Canada Post told her that if they had known earlier they might have been able to do something about it. Huh??? She kept trying to tell them and was told that not enough time had passed.

      Like

    4. […] Read Part One. […]

      Like


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