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Mail theft fueling drug trade in Saskatoon

Click to play video: 'Rash of mailbox thefts growing concern for Saskatoon police' Rash of mailbox thefts growing concern for Saskatoon police
WATCH ABOVE: A rash of mailbox thefts in the city is a growing concern for Saskatoon police despite recent arrests in a number of cases. Wendy Winiewksi with the details and how people can protect themselves – Jan 18, 2018

Mailbox theft is on the rise in Saskatoon in recent years according to the Saskatoon Police Service.

On Jan. 12 and 13 two men were arrested who are believed to be connected to a string of property crime and compromised mailboxes.

READ MORE: Arrests made in Saskatoon mailbox thefts

Condos and apartments in the downtown and City Park neighbourhoods are recurring targets according to police. Officers received three reports of mail theft in October, nine in November and 24 in December.

“Each one of those incidents where a private mailbox is pried into there could be 20 – 25 victims,” said Saskatoon police Insp. Randy Huisman. “Now we’re talking five or six hundred victims of theft of mail.”

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Insp. Randy Huisman said the onset of addictive drugs in the community like meth has led to a huge spike in property crime.

Maryann McWillie, who manages Barrington Place Apartments on 5th Avenue North, said surveillance video at the apartment has recorded several failed attempts to enter the building.

“We’ve had people take different pry bars, different tools, various ways they’re trying to go and access the building,” McWillie said.

Despite police arresting who they believe are the main suspects, property crime continues.

“There may be associates of theirs that are still doing it,” Huisman said.

Those whose mail has been stolen should heed extra caution if personal information was expected in the mail.

“There’s been reported cases of fraudulent bank accounts or fraudulent credit cards obtained through stolen identification,” Huisman said.

According to police, targeted condos and apartments often see resident’s vehicles in their parkades raided as well as coin operated laundry rooms.

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“With the onset of addictive drugs in the community like methamphetamine we’ve seen a huge spike in property crime,” said Huisman. “It’s anything and everything that can be liquidated or fraudulently obtained so that it can be liquidated into cash.”

Saskatoon’s Crime Free Multi-Housing program recommends eliminating the lure.

“Find other mechanisms to send things that are like cash through the mail,” recommends Donna Thiessen, the Crime Free Multi- Housing co-ordinator.

“Send it to a post office, send it electronically but do something else and just don’t make yourselves vulnerable.”

Donna Thiessen, the Crime Free Multi- Housing co-ordinator recommends sending valuable items through a different source. Send it to a post office, send it electronically but do something else and just don’t make yourselves vulnerable,” she said. Wendy Winiewski / Global News

Also, bright lights, video surveillance and properly working locks and deadbolts can go a long way.

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