Mail issues have been a primary concern among many of the residents in the Mirrormont neighborhood. These issues include mail theft and timely mail delivery. There are measures to take which you, as residents, can implement to avoid theft and assist in the timely delivery of our mail. Although, as a whole, our rural area has improved dramatically regarding mail delivery issues, is it possible to completely avoid theft?
The answer to my last question is yes and no. Theft will likely never disappear entirely. There are precautions to take to lessen your chances of falling victim to this annoying crime. One possible solution is a cluster box, which can be requested from the post office if accompanied by a letter of intent from all affected residents. Purchasing the box is up to the affected neighbors and can be found online. Cluster boxes are large bays of neighborhood mailboxes all centrally located in one area. These boxes are locked, which decreases the chance of theft, and they are also grounded by a cement foundation.
Another solution is security, such as cameras or mailbox alert sensors. Cameras, including trail cameras and wireless security cameras, can be installed to capture license plates and/or faces, which greatly improves the chance that thieves will be caught and prosecuted. Mailbox sensors are relatively new devices, which can be installed in boxes to wirelessly alert the resident when their box has been opened. These precautions are not perfect, but are a vast improvement from leaving yourself blind to theft.
According to Postmaster Eric Stanley, theft is most common during the holidays and around graduation season. Reports show that singular incidents are down from 41 in 2015 to 30 in 2016 through October, the last date statistics were available.
As a resident of the Mirrormont area, I have personally experienced mail theft several times in my twelve years of residency. While the trend is decreasing, it is still a violation of our privacy and still occurs often enough that everyone should be concerned.
Mail delivery, a less impactful problem, has improved since Postmaster Stanley took the position in 2015. He suggests visible house number signs as the best and most important improvement to increase successful delivery rates. Since Postmaster Stanley signed on, Issaquah Post Office has improved in rank from worst in the state at 1,632, to 1,100.
Mail issues are improving, but are still a concern among Mirrormont residents. If you have questions, Postmaster Stanley welcomes you to e-mail him at Eric.J.Stanley@usps.gov. Report mail theft to the King County Sheriff’s Office at (206) 296-4155. Your local home improvement stores carry devices such as locking mailboxes and sensors, and local contractors can install locking mailbox bays. Even a sticker on your mailbox indicating a security system is in place could help deter theft. A couple precautionary measures could help you avoid a possibly long-term problem.