SIERRA VISTA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A cluster of mailboxes inside a Sierra Vista mobile home park was struck by thieves, authorities say. At least 18 community boxes were torn apart, leaving envelopes, newspapers and fliers scattered about Sierra Vista Village.
We're told about three hundred people live at Sierra Vista VillageL: a quiet, gated mobile home community, located just east of downtown Sierra Vista.
About a week ago, in the days just after Christmas, somebody made quite a mess out of the community mailboxes.
"They broke into all of these ... took the backs off all of them, there's about 200 families," says resident Don Vandine.
"Every door on it was pried open with a crowbar, well I assume it was a crowbar, every one," says fellow resident Jim Peters. "And the outbound mail too was that way."
"They took the checks and bills and things like that and just threw them on the ground and walked all over them," Vandine added. "And they left a real mess."
Sierra Vista Police say it probably happened during the early morning hours of December 27th, because later that morning at least five vehicles were broken into the same community.
Mail was also reported stolen in the Hereford and Ramsey areas during the same 24 hour period.
So what exactly is going on?
And who's most at risk?
When in comes to mail, unfortunately, the risk applies to all of us.
"I suggest using the post office and P.O. boxes or some type of mailing center," says Officer Tracy Grady of the Sierra Vista Police Department.
"If you do have a standing mailbox, don't leave any mail out overnight to be picked up. Take and put your mail out in the morning or deliver it to a standing mailbox like at the post office instead," Officer Grady said.
That's what Don Vandine will be doing from now on after what happened at Sierra Vista Village.
"This has been a nightmare...a real nightmare," he says.
Fortunately, Vandine didn't lose anything of any value.
But when it comes to protecting your mail you can never be too safe.
"Among my errands today, I'm going to go up and get a postal box at the Post Office," Vandine said. "It's gonna cost me over $30 for six months, but it will be well worth it."