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Mail chute protection

Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Mail chute protection

Does anyone know of a system to prevent theft of mail from the letterbox in an apartment block?  My daughter is suffering from identity theft because someone reached into her (snail)mail box to steal bank statements while she was in hospital. She's recently received new credit cards for 5 accounts she'd not opened.  I'm thinking of some kind of spikes in the letter chute which allow delivery of mail but would trap the hand of people trying to steal the mail.  Her mail box is not in her door but is mounted on the wall near the communal front door.
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Mail chute protection

Won't answer your question, but get her to register with CIFAS  http://www.cifas.org.uk/pr ; It will prevent anyone taking out a credit card/bank account on her address.
Community Veteran
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Re: Mail chute protection

Thanks Journeys she did that yesterday, bought a cross shredder and where possible arranged on-line statements.
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Community Veteran
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Re: Mail chute protection

I don't think any spikes etc will make much difference to be honest. A really determined theif will just start using something like this to pilfer the mail:


Before anyone suggests anything, I do a lot of my own car work and have to be able to reach things that get dropped.
What you need (imo) is a secondary flap which will then make life harder for anyone trying to reach in past the first one or one of those letter box draught excluders so the theif can't see past is easily. They'll have a tough time holding open two flaps and using / directing a tool to grab the mail without spending more time doing it - thus risking being caught. What was once an easy victim will suddenly be a PITA to rip off.
Of course in reality you call if a chute so it may not even be like a normal letterbox. If you post a picture of it we might be able to help more.
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Community Veteran
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Re: Mail chute protection

Quote from: AlaricAdair
Does anyone know of a system to prevent theft of mail from the letterbox in an apartment block?  My daughter is suffering from identity theft because someone reached into her (snail)mail box to steal bank statements while she was in hospital. She's recently received new credit cards for 5 accounts she'd not opened.  I'm thinking of some kind of spikes in the letter chute which allow delivery of mail but would trap the hand of people trying to steal the mail.  Her mail box is not in her door but is mounted on the wall near the communal front door.
People who do this kind of thing are just scum, it bad enough when you are well but if you have just come out of hospital it makes it even worse.
I wonder if anyone else has had stuff going missing out of their mailboxes as it could be someone who lives in the block but I hope not.
Doubt it will do anything but I would certainly contact the police and the credit card companies involved. Some people have virtually had their lives wrecked due to identity theft.
Community Veteran
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Re: Mail chute protection

As she has already had her current mailing address compromised, it may not happen again..... (hopefully)....
so the next step, if it were me, would be to arrange for my mail to be re-directed to another "safe house" address by the Royal Mail,,, OK so it costs a bit, but 6 months should do the job....
Another thought,.... use a P.O. Box address and have current mail re-directed to that... Again, a cost is involved in renting the P.O.Box address... but not sure how much that would be...
( Perahps the mail could be held at the local delivery office instead. of either of the above suggestions )
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Re: Mail chute protection

Actually shutter thats a damn good suggestion you have there. Plus as RM have a duty of care to ensure the mail is delivered to the recipient safely, they may (after a complaint) offer reduced price assistance.
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Community Veteran
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Re: Mail chute protection

RM's responsibility is to deliver mail to the address and not to an individual. 
Community Veteran
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Re: Mail chute protection

Fair enough but it may still be worth looking at.
Also some private companies offer PO boxes. One such company I know of is LokNStore - who I looked at using a while back myself.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
alanf
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Re: Mail chute protection

Quote from: Sprite
What you need (imo) is a secondary flap which will then make life harder for anyone trying to reach in past the first one

I don't think that is the answer. My front door has a double flap and all too often mail is pushed past the first flap and left dangling in the second.
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Re: Mail chute protection

I was tempted to install one of my cornsnakes in the mail box He's quite bad tempered and bites if suddenly disturbed, while it is not poisonous it would be a deterrent.
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