Condo residents targeted by mail thieves twice in 1 month

SEATTLE -- Some residents at Northgate Villa Condominiums refuse to trust their mailboxes anymore.

"I'm going to sit right here and wait for my carrier," said one woman who did not want to be identified. "That's the only way I know I'll get my mail."

She waited patiently on a bench in the lobby, where the manager says a thief used a tool to break through the locked front doors and reach private mailboxes for about 140 residents.

The theft was discovered early this morning after somebody noticed pry marks on 18 of twenty banks of mailboxes installed in the lobby walls. Each bank consists of seven boxes.

That means there could be as many as 156 or so condo units affected.

"It makes you feel very insecure, almost like somebody coming inside your house, your home," said resident William Wingate. "Makes you want to go up to the post office and put your mail in one of those mailboxes, you know."

The manager says this is the second time in less than a month somebody has broken into the lobby and pried open the mailboxes.

That comes as a shock to resident Ryan Lambert, who lives at the facility with his 2-year-old son. He's concerned at how bold the burglar is.

"Just the idea that somebody pried their way into the front door and then pried all of these open and had time to do that, that's very nervy," Lambert said.

Seattle police responded to the first report of mail theft March 13 and discovered nineteen banks jimmied. Officers have been notified of the second incident.

U.S. Postal Service Inspector's also responded to this latest report of theft after KOMO News contacted the agency.

The manager of Northgate Villa Condominiums says they are planning to reinforce the front doors, install a security camera system, and consider buying more sturdy mail boxes.

Some residents wonder if that will be enough to deter whoever is responsible.

"If they did it twice, I suppose they might do it again. or at least try," Ryan Lambert said.
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