LAKE LOS ANGELES — Lake Los Angeles residents are fighting back against mail theft, vandalism and destruction of mail boxes with a Neighborhood Watch and stronger mailboxes.
One resident said mail theft is very common in the community.
Lake Los Angeles has community mailboxes more common in urban locations as well as groups with individual mailboxes next to each other.
Some mailboxes have been destroyed by cars running into them.
Lyn Bateman rallied her neighbors to come up with a solution for the community’s frequent mail theft problems.
John Bateman, Lyn’s husband, and the father and son team of Robert Linson Sr. and Robert Linson Jr. fabricated a system with two large steel-locked mailboxes that are mounted on a steel frame set in concrete.
Robert Linson Jr. designed and welded the frame. The team mixed the cement and mounted it in concrete. They then installed the mailboxes.
“The boxes are spread out so everyone could have their box mounted and still have room. Our neighbors had the option to buy a new, larger, more secure box or put their box back up,” Lyn Bateman said.
Lyn Bateman added they purchased the mailboxes at Home Depot for about $100.
The mailbox frame is designed so that the Batemans’ and Linsons’ neighbors have the option to purchase a larger, more secure mailbox if they so choose.
“You have to be proactive or it’s going to continue to be an issue. This may not be the entire answer, but we are trying to do something. Cameras go up this week. There are more cameras to be installed focusing on the boxes and the backyards. I have filed two mail theft reports, so the sheriffs know what is going on,” Lyn Bateman said.
According to Lyn Bateman, the U.S. Postal Service worker who delivers mail to the community sees open mailboxes all over her route.
“She has also said she has had cars following her to grab the mail. She files police reports as well,” Lyn Bateman said.
In addition to new mailboxes, the community has a Neighborhood Watch between 171st and 174th streets east near Mossdale Avenue.
“We have 44 members who are actively exchanging notes on our Facebook page. I am hoping this will make our Watch even more active and more people will report and take a proactive position on crime in our neighborhoods,” Lyn Bateman said.