Along many country roads we see lone mailboxes as well as groups of traditional mailboxes. These are the mailboxes of the past. They are close to the roadside and some distance from a home. These mailboxes of yesteryear may be single or grouped together and have been convenient for mail carriers. Presently, we are finding that mailboxes still seen along country roads are also convenient for mail thieves. All are in jeopardy. In Juniper Canyon in Oregon on October 28, 2010 hundreds of cluster mailboxes were vandalized and the mail stolen. These were locking mailboxes. The thieves just pried them open in the dead of night. They don’t need keys. They can just take off the back panel and have access to everyone’s mail.
Vandals, often bored teenagers, make a sport of smashing mailboxes along country roads. Kids are successful in smashing the mailboxes because of the flimsy construction of so many of them.
Today, with the escalation of mailbox vandalism, rural residents are replacing their old mailboxes and investing in vandal proof, pick proof models that stand up to the insults of the teens’ Saturday night batting practice.
There are several good designs to choose from. There are locking mailboxes made from steel. Take care to note the thickness of the steel. Some popular models are constructed of 18 gauge, or 14 gauge or 2 gauge steel. Although it seems that 18 being a higher number than 14 or 2, you would think 18 is thicker. The truth is that 2 gauge is one fourth inch thick and that is stronger and costs the manufacturer more than either 18 gauge or 14 gauge. You get what you pay for.
Rural residents are interested in the stronger mailboxes, as school buses, extra wide farm equipment and even a guest car backing out their lanes can total the mailboxes of the past.
There are electronic locks that operate on double A batteries. There are locks with keys, some tumbler, some tubular. There is even a locking insert to consider if your mailbox is already a sturdy one.
If you buy a steel locking mailbox for the country roadside your worries will end. You will never need to buy another.