CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The residents of the Cathedral City Cove are starting to question the security of their mailboxes. Recently, neighbors have witnessed people opening and stealing mail throughout the area. "I think it's a sign of the times," said James Mewes. "When times get tough, people take desperate measures. It makes me sad, I wish this wasn't going on, but it is."
Mewes hasn't had anything stolen yet, but isn't going to take any chances. "Well I've gotten to locking my mailbox again, something I haven't had to do in 8 or 9 years," said Mewes. "It makes it a little more inconvenient for the mailman."
The community decided to take action when they found nearly every mailbox left open overnight. They filed a police report to the Cathedral City police department. The mailman also got involved. "I've seen the mailman there and he said he had just been chasing the people down," said Dale Jagodzinski. "So that's when I went back and looked at some of the surveillance I did have."
Jagodzinski uses surveillance cameras to protect his property and caught video of the vehicle neighbors say the theives drove. It also shows video of the postal service vehicle following it. He gave the video to the police in hopes it would help them find the theives. "I hope they find them, or how many of them there are, they don't know," said Jagodzinski. "Because I heard this is going on around the whole city, it's not just this area."
Cathedral City post office manager Randy Smith gives information on how to prevent your mail from being stolen. "There are types of mailboxes that can be bought that have latches or locks on them, you can pick them up at the local hardware stores," said Smith. "They have slots for your mail and people can't get into them. Or rent a secure box here at our office, our P.O. Boxes are for rent all the time."
Jagodzinski offers his own advice.
"Just be aware of everything that's going on," said Jagodzinski. "Keep an eye on your neighbors, know who they are, and we'll have less problems."