Mailbox mystery: 2 large mailboxes stolen from popular Polk County plaza

Polk County

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – Polk County business owners are at the center of a mailbox mystery in Winter Haven.

“My coworker went down there Thursday to check the mail and the entire mailbox was gone. They uprooted it from the ground,” said Jennifer Kobor, who works at Mariner Finance in the Towne Center at Cypress Gardens shopping plaza.

Her co-worker called the property owner, Century Retail, right away.

“They said ‘Did you guys do something with the mailbox?’ We thought, ‘No, that’s crazy. It’s a huge massive box, multi-tenants,'” said Natalie Imig, leasing agent at Century Retail.

The property managers went to the mailbox location and took a picture of the remaining mailbox.

Courtesy Michelle McPherson

Days later, that one disappeared too.

Stealing mail is a federal crime.

“There were eight mail slots per box,” said Imig. “You had to have a large van or a pickup truck to put this in the back of.”

All that remains are bolts in the sidewalk.

“We’re thinking definitely some type of somebody stealing them for, we don’t know what reason. It’s not like they were pulled out or slid,” said Imig. “Somebody honestly must have had to pick them up to not damage the concrete.”

Imig showed the evidence to a Winter Haven officer Wednesday and filed a police report.

She told 8 On Your Side the business owners have been cooperative.

“At the moment, I don’t think there’s anything that was detrimental in those mailboxes, but obviously we don’t want them to have to worry about that,” said Imig.

Each mailbox costs $1,500, Imig said.

Now Imig – and potentially, law enforcement officials – will search for surveillance video in the area to find the mailbox thieves.

To protect against mail theft and check washing, the U.S. Postal Service recommends depositing mail before the last pickup, retrieve mail frequently and hold mail at the post office.

Also promptly pick up your mail and don’t send cash.

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