A Canada Post employee in Alberta was arrested after RCMP officers and postal inspectors found they had stolen hundreds of pieces of mail.
Mounties, the Eastern Alberta District Crime Reduction Unit and Canada Post postal inspectors seized more than 500 post items from the employee's possession on Nov. 23 in Wainwright, Alta.
The employee was supposed to deliver the pieces of mail, but all items have been returned to Canada Post, after being found in the worker's vehicle and home in the east-central Alberta town, about 200 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.
"The deliverable parcels have been returned to Canada Post for continuation in the delivery process to their intended destination," the RCMP said in a press release.
Currently, no charges have been laid and the employee was released with conditions.
However, officials expect a charge of theft from mail under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 to be laid as the investigation continues.
The employee is set to appear in Wainwright Provincial Court on Jan. 5, 2023.
Police and Canada Post have advised people to pick up their mail daily, as soon as possible after it has been delivered.
People should also avoid mailing cash, prepaid credit cards or gift cards.
"If you're planning a holiday or are unable to retrieve your mail, have someone pick up your mail for you or use Canada Post's Hold Mail service," the press release said. "Deposit your outgoing mail close to the scheduled pickup time posted on the mailbox."
Earlier this year, a woman in southern Ontario blamed Canada Post for a stolen Apple Watch.
Last Christmas, Julia Qi bought her daughter an Apple Watch as a "surprise," but her daughter — who lives in Australia — ended up shipping it back to her mother in Canada.
But when Qi went to pick the parcel up on Jan. 25, the device wasn't there.
In 2021, another Canada Post mail carrier in Winnipeg had stolen a number of parcels valued at more than $40,000.
After police searched their home, officers found electronics, makeup and clothing still in their original mailing packages.