Friday, January 30, 2009

Mail Theft

Mail theft at 2100 is rampant!

If you are a tenant, Did you know?

Removing anything from a mailbox after it has been deposited by Canada Post is a Criminal Offence. Section 356 of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with theft of mail and states “everyone who steals mail is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years”.

Does it matter what it is that is stolen? Absolutely Not! If Canada Post put a sales pitch from a telephone company or a GST cheque or a birthday card in your mail box and someone steals it, it is an indictable offence. In this building, as in many rental units about the city, we have locked mailboxes as in the picture above. If the door is broken open, call the police and report a mail theft. If the City Police do not respond, and I cannot believe they would not, call the R.C.M.P. It is a Federal Offence.

I used to be a paralegal for a Criminal Law Firm and one of the things I had to do from time to time, was listen to police recordings of calls for help. You would not believe what those poor operators have to listen to. So if you find yourself having to call the police for mail theft (or any other crime) take ten deep breaths and try to stay calm. Give them the facts. The operator does not need your life story. Eventually the judge and jury might but not the operator. If he/she asks a question, answer it. Save any ranting and raving for someone else and no matter how mad you are, try not to swear at her/him. They didn't commit the crime!

If you live in an Ottawa Housing Unit, call them next. They need to know that there is a problem with mail theft here. If the victims do not tell them, how are they to know? Do not assume they do. Mind reading is not on anyone's job description! I hear a lot of people say, "Oh! They know what's going on!" It might be good to remember that each one of us are one unit out of 200+ here and one building out of several hundred in the City that fall under the umbrella of Ottawa Housing. Maybe they don't know! Tell them. If you do not trust them to do anything about it, Leave it on their voice mail. Write an email - leave tracks.

If you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem!

And to the City and the Province, for letting so many situations get out of hand and fester:-
Shame on you Ottawa! Shame on you, Ontario!

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