Tukwila providing discounted secure mailboxes to deter mail theft

TUKWILA, Wash. - The city of Tukwila is hoping a new program will help curb mail theft in the area. The program involves providing discounted locked mailboxes to people who live there.

The mailboxes just on appearance appear heavy duty. The company who makes them says they are 14 and 16 gauge galvanized steel. For Tukwila Police, it’s a deterrent for mail theft.

“The mailboxes aren’t going to solve all the problems, but it’s a step in the right direction,"  said Tukwila Police Public Information Officer Victor Masters.

Last Thursday, the city announced a program that would provide a discount to buy these heavy-duty mailboxes.

The boxes are made by Redmond-based Epoch design and it’s called the “Mail Manager Pro.”

Q13 featured the company two years ago. Even the key to the mailbox has security features.

“This is what’s called a side-winder key, and it’s comparable to what you would see on a Mercedes-Benz or some other European car. It’s almost impossible to pick,” said Epoch Design owner David Bolles.

Tukwila Police said mail theft is not just a city problem, but a regional and national one as well.

In the city however, police said the Allentown neighborhood in the city is where mail theft is being reported the most.

“They’re very vocal about it and it’s a concern that we’ve been listening to, and this is part of what we’re doing to address that concern,” said Masters.

The city decided to buy about a hundred of the mailboxes and offer them at a discounted rate.

They city said Tukwila residents can  apply for one and get it at $108 instead of at $159, what it is going for on some websites.

“I’ve seen like the mailboxes open. So I think it’d be a good idea to get the locks,” said Tukwila resident Murad Huseynov.

Police say the boxes will be helpful just on their appearance.

“So if thieves come to the mailbox that’s a locked mailbox, they’re more likely to just move onto one that’s not secure and they could get into and out of immediately,” said Masters.

Since the program launched last week, they’ve already gotten many applications to get one. They’re only available to Tukwila residents, so you do have to show proof of residency.

And if you can't afford the $108, the city says they're willing to work with you too. If you need help installing the mailboxes, the Tukwila Public Works Department can help, upon request.

The city of SeaTac has a similar program.

Police say you should deposit mail in US Postal Service secured blue boxes. Also, if you’re headed out of town, have the post office hold your mail until you get back. And they say if you see anyone suspicious near mailboxes call 911.

If you are interested in getting a mailbox, you can contact Chris Partman, Community Policing Coordinator for the Tukwila Police Department at 206-431-2197 or email at C.Partman@tukwilawa.gov. You can also apply for the mailboxes online.

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