RCMP are investigating the theft of mail from the post office in Slocan Park and a break-in at the post office in Ymir after a Nelson woman spotted a truck with unopened parcels.
On Jan 22, Julie-Ann Chapman noticed that a pickup parked at at the foot of the Giveout Creek Road contained mail addressed to various people in Slocan Park.
There were also spots on the ground around the pickup where it appeared mail had been burned.
This caught Chapman’s attention because she belongs to Nelson SnoGoers, a snowmobile club that maintains the parking lot. She was on her way to conduct avalanche training for the group.
Chapman said the box of the pickup was full of garbage, personal items and unopened mail.
“I saw (mailed) boxes with people’s names and different addresses,” she said, “and the burn pile had a bunch of bank records that were half burned.”
She said there were about 10 unopened packages and a large number of letters, both in the back of the pickup and in the locked cab.
Chapman photographed the vehicle, its licence plate, and some of the individual parcels. She posted the photos on the Slocan Valley Community Web Facebook page and called the RCMP. On her way home at the end of the day, she noted that the vehicle and the mail were still there.
The next morning when she again drove through the parking lot the vehicle was gone.
Corp. Derek Pitt of the RCMP told the Nelson Star an officer attended the truck on Jan. 22, and at that point there was no mail in or near the truck, although the police did not open the locked cab. On Jan. 24, the RCMP found the same vehicle parked in a different location and discovered mail and packages hidden from view under a blanket in the cab, all of it addressed to people in Slocan Park.
He said video surveillance footage from Slocan Park shows a person entering the post office early on Jan. 20, appearing to do so with a key.
Pitt said the RCMP is also investigating a break-in at the Ymir post office, but it is not yet clear whether any mail was taken.
He pointed out that even though the police know the identity of the owner of the truck, that does not necessarily mean the owner is the mail thief.
Anyone who is missing mail or parcels in Ymir or Slocan Park should notify the RCMP at 250-352-2156.
Canada Post’s media office confirmed in an email that “an incident of vandalism” happened at the Slocan Park post office on the early morning of Friday, Jan. 20, and at the Ymir post office on Jan. 16.
Canada Post declined to comment further because the matter is under investigation.
“Customers who believe they have not received a piece of lettermail should contact the sender,” the Canada Post email states. “If they believe a parcel delivery is missing they should contact Canada Post’s Customer Service so that we can look into it and potentially work with the sender, who may initiate a claim with Canada Post.”