ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

It's 10 o'clock at night. Do you know where your letters are?

Updated on December 25, 2016

A Target for Theft

The rapidly growing trend of cluster mailbox theft in the U.S. has some residents taking up arms against the boxes themselves.

One California neighborhood initiated an online petition to end all CBU use by the United States Postal Service. But are the boxes to blame? Is the USPS to blame? Or, is this simply an age-old crime that will continue to evolve along with the delivery service?

So why are Cluster Mailboxes so common?

From large cities to rural areas, CBUs are a common sight. In neighborhoods and communities where door-to-door delivery has been deemed uneconomical, the Postal Service opts for the use of cluster mailboxes: a decision they admit brings a 300% savings in delivery costs. But while the new standard for USPS cluster boxes does institute several much-needed security improvements, there are a vast number of the older, below-standard boxes still in use. These older boxes are much less secure than the new 4C standard CBUs, making them a target for prowling mailbox bandits.

With added security precautions, is the Postal service still to blame for this repetitious atrocity being inflicted on thousands of mail-abiding citizens? While the answer may seem like an obvious one, it is more complicated than ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If you live in an area where the boxes are maintained by the city or county, you could contact your local postmaster about having your boxes, doors or locks upgraded. However, if you live in a community with an HOA, the parts, maintenance and replacement of these units may fall into your association dues. If you find yourself in the latter category, you may have options aside from these poor, defenseless boxes.


Are there options?

The first step for any neighborhood should be to ensure the most current USPS-approved cluster mailbox unit is installed. If you want something besides that old, grey cluster box; high-security, residential mailboxes are available on the market. However, they may not be an economical alternative to the trusty CBU. With high-security boxes, each unit is much bulkier than a standard cluster box receptacle. Many locations simply don’t have the space needed to install the adequate number of units. Likewise, the costs could be substantially higher than simply upgrading the community’s existing cluster mailbox unit.

So you might be muttering, “Great! I’m stuck with these cluster boxes!” Does this mean you have no defense? Absolutely not! Even though you may not have a choice in changing the type of box in which your mail is delivered, there are ways you can help reduce your chances of becoming a victim.


Source

Steps to increase security

Begin by having your out-of-date CBU replaced with a current 4C unit, utilizing the most recent USPS-approved security features. You will be more protected with the modern locking mechanisms, and anti-pry point design features. What if the thieves have made a fake “master key”? What can you do then?

Make sure the mail receptacles are well lit! Maybe even request that your HOA install a surveillance camera.Thieves hate being seen, in person or on tape. Learn your delivery schedule, and if possible, retrieve your mail as quickly as possible. If you are leaving town, notify your local post office to suspend delivery until your return.

There is always something we can do to make our homes, families and even our mailboxes safer.

Just as the Pony Express gave way to mail trucks and strong-boxes were replaced with mailboxes, the highwaymen have traded their six shooters for crow-bars. Thus, the fight to ensure mail security must continue To paraphrase Edmund Burke, “ the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is the indifference of good men.” As long as there are well-lit cluster units and state-of-the-art security features, darkness cannot prevail.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)