The New Hazelton RCMP is investigating a rash of vandalism to Canada Post community mailboxes in the area.
Staff Sgt. Darren Durnin said while there is always potential that the damage is simply mischief, it is more often the mailboxes are being targeted for purposes of theft or fraud.
He said there are several things thieves may be looking for including online shopping packages, bank and credit cards, cheques and personal information.
Since Canada Post started shifting away from home delivery, theft and vandalism of community mailboxes have been on the rise, particularly in rural areas.
The RCMP advise that the best way to make sure of not falling victim to mail theft is to check the mail daily as most of these crimes take place under cover of night.
They also recommend reporting any damage to mailboxes immediately to Canada Post.
It is a federal offence to tamper with the mail that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.