There’s nothing more exciting than ordering something special online and finding a parcel waiting in your letterbox a few days later. For one Melbourne-based comedian though, things didn’t go to plan when her parcel unexpectedly went missing.
Taking to her Facebook page last week, Lucy Gransbury detailed her horror when she discovered a neighbour was actually responsible for stealing her package straight out of her letterbox.
Gransbury explained she ordered some make-up from Clinique and was devastated when she noticed the package was missing. After contacting Australia Post, she was sent a photograph of her package sitting above the letterbox of her building, so she knew the postal service wasn’t to blame. She then started to suspect a neighbour was responsible for her parcel going walkabouts.
“We contacted our apartment block’s body corporate to get footage from the CCTV camera without expecting results,” she said. “They told us we would have to pay a few hundred dollars to get footage (of someone stealing a package worth less than a fifth of that). So did we go ahead? You bet we did. Was it worth it? YOU F****** BET IT WAS.”
Several weeks after the package when missing, Gransbury received clear footage of the thief in action. In the video, Gransbury noticed a woman entering the apartment block with a key, so she knew it was one of her neighbours. She also watched the woman pick up the parcel, read the name, shrug and keep it for herself.
“As soon as I stop screaming, I’ll decide what to do next. Suggestions welcome. Stay tuned,” Gransbury wrote.
In a further blog post on her website, she noted that other neighbours had been noticing their own deliveries disappearing from late last year.
Postal theft is on the rise in Australia, with petty thieves targeting letterboxes and even brazenly walking up to people’s front doors to nick parcels left there by posties. One of the most serious consequences of the crime in identity theft, where criminals use personal information found in letters to assume their victims identity and take out loans or purchase items in their name.
Once a parcel or letter has been delivered, the issue is out of Australia Post’s hands and the postal service recommends contacting police if you believe your mail has been stolen.
People on Facebook had several ideas on how Gransbury could confront the thief.
One person wrote: “Find some old make up or buy a cheap lippy, leave it at her door with a note telling her she may as well have this as well, as it goes with the rest of the make-up she took, maybe even wrap it all in a print out of her picture stealing the make-up”.
Another comment read: “Leave her a parcel of lipstick and moisturiser but spike it with Tabasco sauce”. A third added: “Do you people not know that stealing mail is actually a serious criminal offence? You should be calling the police and giving them the CCTV footage”.
According to Australia Post, the best way to protect your packages is to have them sent to a 24/7 parcel locker, to organise to collect them from a local post office, or to rent your own PO box.
“Mail that is tampered with or goes missing from a resident’s letterbox or property after it has been delivered is a criminal offence and we strongly recommend people report it to police immediately,” an Australia Post Spokesperson told Starts at 60.
The spokesperson made the following recommendations:
– Use letterboxes that feature a mail slot wide enough to fit your mail through, but not so large that a hand can reach inside;
– The letterbox is fastened with a sturdy lock; and
– Mail is cleared frequently.
“Customers concerned about mail security can opt to collect their parcels over the counter at a Post office, have mail sent to a PO Box or use one of our free 24/7 parcel lockers,” the Australia Post spokesperson added.