RCMP are investigating after two separate small town post offices were robbed last month in central Saskatchewan.
Parcels were stolen from the Canada Post office in Allan, Sask — about 50 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon — sometime overnight on Dec. 1 or in the early hours of Dec. 2, according to a news release from RCMP.
It is unknown how many suspects may have been involved or their motivations, RCMP said at the time.
"Saskatoon RCMP continue to investigate and ask anyone in Allan that captured video surveillance in or around the area of the post office from December 1 at 5 p.m. to December 2 at 7 a.m. to contact them," said the Dec. 7 news release.
Another Canada Post office was targeted in Langham, about 90 kilometres northwest of Allan, on Christmas Day, according to Langham mayor Gary Epp.
"There were probably a lot of Christmas gifts that hadn't been picked up yet," Epp told CBC on Tuesday.
RCMP and Canada Post confirmed the theft was reported to Warman RCMP on Dec. 26.
"An unknown individual or individuals forced their entry into the business," an RCMP spokesperson wrote in an email. "It is unknown what items were stolen."
Canada Post also said it was working with RCMP as they investigate the matter.
RCMP say they are investigating a break-in at the Langham, Sask., Canada Post office that was reported on Dec. 26, 2023. (Google Maps)
RCMP and Canada Post did not answer questions about how common thefts from post offices or mail trucks are, or how many have taken place in Saskatchewan in recent years.
RCMP say it is too early to know whether the two incidents may be related. When CBC News asked whether identity theft may have motivated either crime, the spokesperson said it was too soon to comment on possible motives.
However, the thefts have raised concerns that mail containing sensitive personal or financial data may have been stolen to be used for identity theft or fraud.
"I don't know if they just grabbed parcels, [but] if they were going through mailboxes that would be a big issue," said Epp, noting that several other Langham businesses were robbed in December, in addition to the post office, a church and the town office itself.
"Even in the town office break-in they stole a computer, printer and a monitor … and the information on the computer is password protected, but there's people that can get around that."
He said the string of robberies was a big financial burden on many business owners, leaving the town on edge.
"Some [residents] are scared... Is it going to be their homes next?" said Epp.
In response to CBC questions about how Canada Post secures its post offices and mail vehicles, the Crown corporation declined to comment on "specific security measures or broader information related to our facilities or equipment publicly as doing so would hamper their effectiveness."
"We take these matters and the security of the mail very seriously," said a Canada Post spokesperson. "As this incident is currently under investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further or provide details."
Anyone who has not received a piece of letter mail believed to be missing should contact the sender, the statement said, while missing parcels should be reported to Canada Post customer service.
"We can look into it and potentially work with the sender, who may initiate a claim with Canada Post," said the spokesperson. "They should also contact the sender to begin their claim for a refund or have the parcel sent to them again."
Canada Post also advised any customers concerned with identity fraud to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.