Mail Boxes Etc owner urges people to use secure mail box service after bout of postal theft in Portsmouth and Fareham
MISERY and stress caused by post theft could be avoided by using the services of a mailbox company, that’s the message from a Portsmouth business owner.
Russell Sykes has run Mail Boxes Etc, in Lord Montgomery Way, Southsea, with his wife Christine for the past 17 years.
The shop offers a range of services, including printing, packing and secure mail boxes.
Russell, 60, from Gunwharf Quays, has spoken out to promote his business after reading about a spate of letterbox thefts.
He said: ‘It could be avoided if they use a secure mail box service like ours.
‘The biggest risk of post theft is that the post is then used for fraud, to create cards, or access bank accounts.
‘What’s worse than the actual theft itself is all the misery that goes with it. The banks are less helpful and accessible these days due to Covid, and they have reduced services.
‘The key benefit is that using us, prevents misery and stress.’
An appeal was put out by Hampshire Constabulary last month after letterboxes had been tampered with and post stolen in the Nelson Lane area of Portchester.
Residents also had credit cards taken out in their name which they did not apply for.
Police said the incidents, which took place between September 30 and October 3, may also be linked to another in Clarendon Road, Southsea, between September 3 and September 7 whereby post was stolen from a man’s house, and credit cards were taken out in his name.
A spokeswoman from Hampshire Constabulary said that no arrests had yet been made in relation to the crimes.
Russell said that as well as preventing this time of incident, there were many other benefits to using his services.
The dad-of-two said: ‘People’s first reaction is that these type of mail boxes are used for fraud but that is not the case. There are lots of reasons to use us. People may have moved abroad, or want their mail sent on, people who live on caravan parks, or boats, there are a whole raft of different people who use us.
‘One of the most common is people who run their own business from home but they want to keep their personal life separate. There are people who just want a proper professional address for their business and there are also people who want to have a presence in Portsmouth.
‘The other side is people in transient positions, moving houses or in temporary accommodation, this gives them a personal mail box that is safe and secure.’
He said that ID is required to set up a mailbox and that he would report suspicious activity.
The business, which also employs shop manager Mollie Stanhope, is accessible 24 hours day.