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AN unusual crimewave is sweeping Hexham.
Across the town, Victorian wall-mounted post boxes have been disappearing, much to the annoyance of residents.
But the post boxes are not disappearing as a result of cuts to Royal Mail – they’re actually being stolen.
Resident David Pickering noticed that the post box on Hellpool Lane had disappeared last week.
He said: “I thought that the Post Office must have removed it, but now I’m hearing they’ve been stolen.
“Post boxes are going for loads of money online.
“It’s crazy, they’ve been there for years. It’s the first post box I posted a letter in.
“We’ve been robbed. It’s annoying because you go on the internet and find so many of them.”
Victorian post boxes like the ones stolen in Hexham are regularly listed online for hundreds of pounds.
Speaking at Hexham Town Council’s meeting on Monday night, Tynedale’s neighbourhood inspector Pam Bridges said that three post boxes had been stolen, and that thieves had attempted to remove a fourth.
It appeared that the boxes had been “sawn off” the wall.
In a statement, Inspector Bridges said: “On Monday, September 24, we received three reports of thefts of mail boxes in the Hexham area.
“It is suspected that the offenders travelled into the area and stole the small post boxes located on Causey Hill, Beech Hill and Maidens Walk.
“Inquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible, but at this stage we think that all three reports could be linked.
“We would ask the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity they see to police.”
Speaking after the meeting, county councillor for Hexham West, Derek Kennedy, said he had never heard of a similar crime.
Coun. Kennedy said: “This is the first time I’ve heard of multiple thefts of post boxes. It’s obviously been done as one batch.
“It’s particularly shocking that this is taking place in broad daylight.
“I’m just shocked; I’ve never known of something like this. Why would you steal a post box?
“What’s the motivation? I just think it’s unbelievable that someone would steal a post box never mind four.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101, quoting log 334 of 24/09/18 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.