Marge Gold, a member of the Village Green board (which oversees ownership and maintenance of the triangular park at Swarthmore, Sunset and Antioch), told Circling News that she arrived at the Green at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and found that the blue U.S. mailbox had been pried open. The side was wide open, and if there had been any mail in the box, it was gone.
The hunting knife (about 12 inches, including the blade and handle), which had been used to pry the metal, was on the ground. Gold walked around to the postal office on La Cruz, alerted post office employees and gave them the knife.
She said that a postal worker came to the Green and cleared out the mail that remained in the mailbox. Gold also placed a plastic container over the mail slot so that people would not try to use it. “I do know that at least one person dropped mail in before that, even though the side was wide open,” she said.
On Nextdoor Palisades, one person wrote in response to the news: “I only deposit mail into the post office proper. Luckily, our PO front lobby is open in the evenings and weekends. I no longer use the streetside boxes, just not safe.” (Editor’s note: the Pacific Palisades Post Office lobby is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.)
Circling the News recently reported that residents have discovered a sticky material applied just below the opening to several outdoor mailboxes in town, so that when people deposit mail (often with checks), the letter sticks and is easily retrieved by criminals.
Stealing mail is a federal crime and hopefully there are nearby security cameras that may have recorded the most recent event.
By Sunday morning, the large mailbox on Antioch at Sunset, which had allowed people to deposit mail from the driver’s side, had been replaced by a smaller box.