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WAVE OF LETTERBOX BREAK-INS LEAVES BONDI ON HIGH ALERT

By Madeleine Gray on March 1, 2017 in News

Beware of anyone wearing Adidas.

Beware of anyone wearing Adidas.

“I’ll just leave the keys in the letterbox.”

It’s a phrase we’ve all uttered a hundred times, because let’s face it, who can be bothered buying one of those fake rock key-holder things?

Unfortunately, a recent wave of letterbox break-ins in the Bondi area is here to remind us that we are not as clever as we may think.

Bondi local Amy Lynch was recently the victim of one such break-in.

“The postbox was locked and someone broke into it,” Ms. Lynch told The Beast.

“I have no idea how. They broke into mine and the one next to ours. It is the second time it has happened and they took all of our post out of it.

“Luckily we don’t keep keys in the letter box, but I had recently applied for a new credit card.

“Annoyingly that was in the postbox and somehow they managed to activate it online. They then very quickly spent $1.5k on the card and I had no idea until the bank told me.

“I didn’t even know the new card had been posted out to me.”

Waverley Council is aware of the recent spate of thefts, having been briefed by police on the issue.

“We work closely with the local police and residents to enable the safety of the whole community,” a Council spokesperson said.

“Letterbox area design for new complexes has been encouraged to reduce opportunity for theft.

“The NSW Police Force has a number of resources available to residents with tips as to how to lessen the risk of mail theft.”

Another Bondi local, Andrew Worssam, agreed that upgrading locks on letterboxes is definitely to be encouraged.

“The letterbox at our Bondi apartment block was regularly broken into, until we upgraded the locks,” he said.

“For a block of 12, it cost us $500 to get tubular key locks fitted with two extra keys.

“These locks are supposed to be unpickable and cannot be opened with a master key – unlike the previous arrangement.

“It wasn’t hard to convince the body corporate; no one wants their letterbox robbed.”

The jury is out on who is perpetrating these thefts. Mr. Worssam said that police told him “stealing mail is all about collecting personal information in order to commit identity theft. This would probably require some level of organisation. The theft of keys from letterboxes may be more random, though I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.”

Ms. Lynch said that community vigilance was important in discouraging these thefts.

“I would advise locals to just be cautious around who is hanging around their apartment block.

“Sometimes with Airbnb, and Bondi being such a transient place, it’s hard to know if the person looking in the mailboxes lives in your block or not.

“I used to stupidly always leave keys for friends in our old apartment post box and would never do that again.

“I have also now contacted my banks and asked if everything can always be either sent to the branch or electronically.”

The message seems clear: it’s probably time to invest in a better mailbox lock.

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