Mail box thefts stymie delivery in Chicago neighborhood

Brass mail boxes like this one in Calumet Heights, Ill. are being targeted by thieves
CBS Chicago

(CBS) CHICAGO - Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

But what if your mailbox gets stolen?

That's what's keeping the mail from getting delivered in one Chicago neighborhood where fancy brass mailbox slots are being ripped right off of people's houses.

CBS Chicago reports that in Calumet Heights, on the South Side, everywhere you look, there are gaping holes where the heavy, ornate metal mail slots used to be.

Jean Johnson worries about her elderly mother, who had hers stolen very early Sunday morning.

"This is really appalling. This is ridiculous," she says. "I just don't understand why somebody would take mailboxes."

The reason? The brass fixtures, built into the bricks and stone facades of the homes, are worth at minimum $4 apiece on the scrap-metal market, according to CBS Chicago. The station tallied a total of 26 of them missing from 40 homes in one block.

Victim Henry Moore wonders: "Now where can I get a mailbox to fit in there? How much is it going to cost me to have it put back in?"

"It has to be done, and you can't leave it open like. If it rains, it'll go into the house," he said.

Moore is especially incensed. Like all the others, he never saw nor heard the crooks.

Another man who had his mail box stolen, Leonard Clay, worries his wrought iron gate and fencing could also be targeted.

"Yeah, we figure that'll be next," Clay says.

It's not the first time this has happened, either. Five weeks ago, residents of the Avalon Park neighborhood had a string of mailbox thefts just like this one.

On the bright side, however, residents will be getting a lot less junk mail.