Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Mysterious Case of the Missing Mailboxes

It all began, quite mysteriously, on the night of December 19 when Lincoln had its first snowfall of the year. There was quite a bit of accompanying winds.

When I got up the next morning, I saw that our mailbox was gone. I posted this photo on my Facebook wall, pointing out that the stick to the left of the tree is where our mailbox used to be. I went out and looked around and the mailbox was nowhere to be found.

Dad found another old mailbox in the garage and enlisted one of his buddies to try to jerryrig it to the post. It didn't really work, so his friend went and got a new one for us and installed it on the post the next day.

All was fine until last night. Dad reported that the doorbell rang about 11 p.m. I didn't hear it. He went out and the OLD mailbox was sitting on the front porch, so he brought it in. I saw it sitting in the hallway when I got up this morning. I looked out the kitchen window and the NEW mailbox was gone! What? What's going on here?

Dad was rightfully pissed off since he had just spent $50 on the new mailbox. But why would someone return the OLD one and then take the NEW one? Figuring that this theft is some sort of crime, I called the non-emergency phone number for the Lincoln Police Department. As I reported the incident, the woman I was speaking with couldn't help but laugh. "I'm sorry," she said, "I know this isn't funny, but it IS amusing." We thought so, too, but we were still pissed off about it. So she said an officer would be out to speak to us.

A very nice officer showed up in about 15 minutes and we explained this bizarre story to him. Then he asked about the other mailbox that was in the driveway. "What other mailbox?"

He went back outside and retrieved the NEW mailbox that was sitting next to our trash barrel - up by the house, not by the street.

Now that makes everything even stranger! The OLD mailbox has been missing for nearly three weeks, it mysteriously reappears and the NEW one is removed from the post and placed by the trash barrel. What's up with that?

By now, the officer, Dad and I are all quite perplexed, but laughing about how strange this was. The officer asked if I knew the date that the OLD mailbox disappeared. "Yes!" I replied, "Because I posted on Facebook!" So I was able to look up the date for him. He asked if he thought we had been targeted or if we knew if any of the neighbors had witnessed anything. We replied that we really hadn't talked with anyone about it.

So, the officer took down some more information, gave us his card and the incident report number and took off to interview some of the neighbors. He said if he got any information, he'd be back to see us. So I guess he didn't find out anything new.

I just hope that my phone call to the police department doesn't wind up on that crazy police calls segment on The Tonight Show!

copyright 2013 Susan M. Petersen

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