Mailbox thief caught on camera

Brendan Rees

A Kensington Banks father has spoken of his frustration after a person walking their dog was caught on CCTV allegedly helping themselves to a parcel from his mailbox.

Ben McAllister, who posted footage of the alleged theft on the Kensington Neighbourhood Watch Facebook page to warn others, said the culprit could be seen stopping outside his home with their dog before reaching into his mailbox about 5.30am on September 24.

“The package did not appear to be sticking out but would’ve been visible in the lower part of the mailbox which has a round opening roughly the diameter of a tennis ball and is not lockable,” he said.

Mr McAllister, who did not wish to identify his street due to not wanting to draw attention to his neighbours, said although the parcel was of low value it was “frustrating nonetheless”.

“It’s not the actual theft that bothers me, the world has bigger issues at the moment, it’s the fact that someone who lives close by has taken their dog for their morning walk and decided to steal from their neighbour while they’re at it.”

He said due to the parcel’s low value and the identity of the alleged offender not being clear on camera, he didn’t believe it was worth reporting to police.

Mr McAllister said he had decided to check his security cameras after receiving a message that the parcel had been delivered.

“This is the first time we’ve had anything stolen from our mailbox but from previous conversations with local residents over many years it seems to occur two to three times a week that l know of,” he said.

It comes as another resident, Matt Rodgers, expressed his frustration after his pet food delivery worth $70 was stolen from the front of his now former home in Derby St, Kensington, after having recently moved out of the property.

“It’s been confirmed it was stolen. I received a photo from Pet Circle showing that it was left in the front yard,” he said.

“The new tenants and a neighbour have checked the front yard and there is nothing there.”

“I would describe it as shock and disbelief that someone would enter the property to remove a parcel, and even more so given the nature of the item.”

“I am pretty certain that it would have been dumped/discarded when the person realised what it was.”

According to the latest Crime Statistics Agency data, there were 9135 theft offences recorded in City of Melbourne in the year ending June compared to 11,869 the previous year.

Local police have advised residents to lock their mailbox and if possible, not to have banking and utility statements sent via mail as personal details may allow a thief to gain this information.

For those in apartment buildings, police say the mailbox area should be in an internal secure area with either key, swipe or fob access.

Mailboxes should be designed so people are not able to remove mail from within by reaching in through the mail slot on the front, police say •

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