A Rossland man has been arrested on 14 counts of theft of mail in Castlegar. The 36-year-old was arrested after RCMP were contacted by Canada Post in Castlegar, which noticed a recent trend of customers complaining of not receiving mail.
Cpl. Deb Postnikoff said Canada Post first contacted the RCMP on Nov. 27, and after an internal investigation by postal inspectors and police, the suspect was arrested.
“Castlegar RCMP was acting more as an assist agent to Canada Post. They had their own internal investigation taking place,” Postnikoff said.
“We came on board towards the end.”
Police were then able to identify the man and arrest him.
The man, who police have not yet named, worked as a part-time contractor for Canada Post.
“He was sub-contracted as a janitor,” Postnikoff said. “He worked for Canada Post, but was sub-contracted out since mid-October of this year. He hadn’t been employed for that long at all.”
It was around that time that they started receiving complaints of people not receiving their mail.
Postnikoff said this is a very serious offence.
“Theft of mail actually has its own specific section in the criminal code,” she said. “Normally you have general theft, theft over or under $5,000. Punishment can actually be up to 10 years imprisonment if you’re found guilty by the courts.”
Charges have not been approved yet and RCMP are preparing a report for Crown counsel.
The man is scheduled for his first court appearance Jan. 4 in Castlegar.
Postnikoff advised that with Christmas coming people shouldn’t send gift cards and cash in the mail.
“Cheques and money orders that are actually made out to a specific person is probably the best option,” she said.
“We do get the odd theft of mail, even just at the mailbox. It’s not just at the post office.”