Steps to Reduce Mail Theft

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

By Officers McNaughton and Obstler, Shoreline Police

Mail theft is a growing problem throughout the city and county. Many times victims of mail theft or identity theft don't understand how it could have happened. A common factor is that they put their outgoing mail into their non-locking mailbox. Thieves also target these mailboxes for your delivered mail.

Shoreline Police Detectives and Storefront Crime Prevention officers have researched ways to reduce this crime. One of the best solutions is the locked cluster box units or a single residential locking mailbox. The Post Office does not supply the boxes. They must be purchased through a private company and the Post Office must approve the Lock Box Unit as well as the installation site.

For cluster unit boxes, the Post Office can refer contractors to install the unit once it is purchased. Additionally you must have a city right of way permit for installation. Contact City of Shoreline, Planning and Development Services Department, 206-801-2500, and ask to speak to a permit technician for more information.

For locked cluster box units:

Units often come in 8, 12, 13 and 16 doors and are approximately $1000-$1200, plus $50-$100 for the pedestal. *Some of the companies that sell the units are:
* Police cannot recommend a particular company. It is the consumer’s responsibility to thoroughly research companies and their products.

The initial cost may seem astronomical but since they are neighborhood boxes, it breaks down to about $100/customer.

For single residential locking mailboxes:


Contact your local post office, a company above, or a local hardware store. Remember, the Post Office does not supply the boxes. Boxes must be purchased through a private company and the Post Office must approve the Lock Box as well as the installation site.
  • Bitterlake Station 929 N 145th Street 206-364-0663
  • North City Station 17233 15 Ave NE 206-364-0656

Again, for cluster box units you must have a city right of way permit for installation. Contact City of Shoreline, Planning and Development Services Department, 206-801-2500, and ask to speak to a permit technician for more information.

Photo courtesy of Jeanne Monger and her block watch

2 comments:

Jenny DB March 29, 2010 at 5:50 PM  
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Steve November 3, 2010 at 8:51 PM  
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