Open mailboxes in Maple Bay were the target of theft recently. (Michele Hawes photo)

Off-duty Mountie runs into trouble at Maple Bay mailbox

One of the large Canada Post doors that covered the front of the mailbox had been opened

An off-duty police officer out for a run was in the right place at the right time on June 10.

A community mailbox had been broken into in The Properties neighbourhood of Maple Bay and a resident who’d stopped to pick up her mail was left wondering who to notify.

While the resident was digging out her phone to call it in, another person ran up, and it turned out they were an off-duty Mountie out for some exercise.

One of the large Canada Post doors that covered the front of the mailbox had been opened sometime overnight and the officer confirmed it looked like the contents of the mailbox had indeed been rifled through.

It’s not known if any mail was stolen but mischief and mail theft is becoming more and more common, according to North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP watch commander A/Sgt. Kiel Pharis.

There have been reports of other open mailboxes in the Cowichan Bay area as well.

“We hate to see members of our community being victimized by preventable thefts,” Pharis said. “If I can offer any advice, it would be to check your mail regularly. Also, if you see suspicious activity, call Canada Post and the RCMP right away.”

In this case, the off-duty officer secured the mail and turned it over to Canada Post for safe keeping until the mailbox was locked back up.

Police suggest visiting the Canada Post website to learn how to keep your mail safe.

If you’re away, use the Hold Mail service to suspend delivery until you return and, if your mail fails to arrive, contact the senders to ensure they have the correct mailing address.

Documents containing personal information should be shredded.

To report mischief, theft, or suspicious activity in the Cowichan Valley, please contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522. You can contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or at to leave a secure tip online.

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