A 37-year-old Summerland man has been arrested in connection with a rash of mailbox thefts in the region.
On Feb. 2 at 10:12 p.m., Penticton RCMP were called about a man smoking drugs in a vehicle parked at the Lakeside Resort parking lot in Penticton.
Penticton RCMP later stopped the grey Subaru, travelling south on Government Street in Penticton.
The Summerland man was detained for impaired operation of a motor vehicle.
When police stopped the man, they noticed identification which did not belong with the vehicle, said Sgt. Stephane Lacroix of the Summerland RCMP detachment. They also noticed keys which appeared to be for mailboxes.
A subsequent search of the man and the vehicle revealed keys which appeared to be for mailboxes and homes, as well as credit cards belonging to other people.
The man was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and nine counts of possession of stolen property.
Following a regional investigation, Penticton and Summerland RCMP and members of the South Okanagan Regional RCMP General Investigation Section executed a search warrant on the man’s home on Tait Street in Summerland.
A large quantity of stolen mail and stolen property was recovered.
Among the items recovered were jewelry, tools and office equipment. Drugs and drug paraphernalia were also seized.
Lacroix said community mailboxes in Summerland and around the Okanagan have been broken into since mid-December. Police have received between eight and 12 reports of mailbox thefts and in some cases, the same community boxes have been broken into more than once.
“In Summerland, we had a significant number of mailboxes being broken into,” Lacroix said. “Hopefully we will see a decrease in these thefts.”
Police investigators are now conducting their investigation.
Between 20 and 40 charges against the man are expected. “There’s going to be a lot of follow-up work that needs to be done,” Lacroix said.