Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mail Slot Burglary

At the meeting with the police to discuss crimes in our area on Thursday, it was also noted that there was one incident of burglary by entry through the mail slot on the front door. These mail slot plates often have screws on the outside. These can be easily unscrewed, the plate removed and the opening through the door made wider. The burglar then might be able to reach inside and open the door. This was at one time a very common incident. Let's hope it's not on the rise.

Here's a write-up from the 3rd District about this type of incident from 2012:

"Throughout the City of Philadelphia, including several incidents within P.S.A. # 1 of the 3rd Police District, thieves have begun to exploit residential front door mail-slots as a method of breaking into the homes of unsuspecting residents. In these incidents, thieves were able to remove the flap, or sometimes the entire mail-slot frame, from the front door of the residence and then simply reach in and un-lock the door, walking right into the home. If your mail-slot is within reach of your front door lock, your home is vulnerable to this method of residential burglary.

If your mail-slot is within reach of your front door’s door knob or dead bolt, consider replacing the door with a mail-slot that is located lower in the door. If this isn’t practical and/or affordable, consider installing a smaller mail-slot that cannot be reached through, or sealing off the mail-slot and installing a wall-mounted (locking) mailbox outside of your front door. There are mail-slots available that have a sealed bin (which is locked) on the inside of the door where your mail will collect (but cannot be directly reached into)."

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