Mail thieves are passing by unlocked mailboxes and instead are breaking into locked residential Orinda mailboxes, said Sergeant Neil Rafanan of the Orinda Police Department. At least 12 boxes have been hit in the last four to six weeks. Police suspect the break-ins are taking place between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Rafanan said the secluded nature of Orinda streets means mailboxes can be located some distance from the house itself, which may leave the site unattended. A locked mailbox presents "a target-rich environment," he said, perhaps because those residents may not retrieve their mail for days at a time. To prevent becoming the next victim, Rafanan suggests residents collect their mail on the day it is delivered, and illuminate both the front of their house and the area around their mailbox.
Anyone with information about these crimes is urged to call Orinda Police at (925) 254-6820 or the Sheriff's office dispatch, (925) 646-2441.