Mail theft is a class C felony that can earn perpetrators up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. And while mail theft has been surging, according to data compiled by Syracuse University, federal prosecutions of mail crimes have hit a 20-year low.
Individuals remain primarily responsible for protecting their mail. Practices such as collecting envelopes and packages as soon as they’re delivered remain strongly recommended. However, such diligent and timely behavior isn’t practical for most who may not be home for any number of reasons.
Locking mailboxes present the best deterrent for would-be criminals. The more theft-proof your mailbox is, the harder a criminal has to work.
Why Getting Your Mail Stolen is Dangerous
Anytime someone steals from you, it’s an invasion of privacy. Not only is this inconvenient, it can be unsettling and downright scary. In the case of mail theft, it can also be very costly.
In addition to stealing sentimental notes (like birthday cards) and valuable times (such as gift cards and Air Jordans), thieves can steal your identity. By collecting items like bank statements, social security checks, and personally identifiable information, criminals can act on your behalf.
Once your identity is stolen, it can cost you an immense amount of time and money. It can destroy your credit and seriously damage your good name.
Mail Theft in the Seattle Area & Beyond
Seattle was ranked second among the Worst Metro Cities for Package Theft in 2022. Throughout 2022, there have been multiple reports of mail theft — including multiple instances of thieves caught on camera. In September of 2022, a thief went so far as to bypass mailboxes and stick up a USPS driver.
Despite the fact that mail theft has received more and more coverage, including an elaborate underground market for stolen checks, criminals have gone mostly unpunished. Even individuals who have taken the precaution to install a locking mailbox have been victims, as thieves have taken to sawing mailboxes off their perch.
8 Reasons the Standard Fort Knox Mailbox is the Best Locking Mailbox
The market is saturated with locking mailboxes. They come in any number of price points, sizes, and quality. And as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
A $50 mailbox with a key from Amazon may be a slight step above the standard alcove on a pole. Or it may be more headache than protection as you’re now saddled with a key and a locking mailbox that can easily be pried open.
While shopping, you’ll notice many locking mailboxes are touted as a ‘theft-proof mailbox.’ It’s important to remember that no mailbox is truly theft-proof. Ultimately, with enough time and motivation, a thief can break that baby open.
That being said, the heavy-duty construction and design of Fort Knox Mailboxes set them apart from the competition for the following reasons.
1. 3/16-inch Steel Door (7 Gauge)
The 7 gauge steel plate door is extremely durable — offering 50% more protection against thieves attempting to cut or pound their way into your mailbox than the heaviest duty Home Depot locking mailbox (a Package Master Locking Post-Mount Mailbox with a 14-gauge steel door).
2. 1/4-inch Plate Steel Body (3 Gauge)
Constructed with the thickest steel on the market, the ¼-inch steel plate body of a Fort Knox Mailbox is 2-3 times thicker than standard locking mailboxes. This highly-durable design has allowed the mailbox to withstand falling trees, car wrecks, sledgehammers, and more.
3. Deep Recessed Door for Pry Protection
Fort Knox Mailboxes are designed with deeply recessed doors set within the 3 gauge body. This makes it exponentially more difficult for thieves to pry the door open, as it reduces their access to the door’s minimal seems.
4. Metal Mounting Pole Available
In addition to the mailboxes themselves, Fort Knox sells three sizes of steel posts, each uniquely designed to fit a given set of Fort Knox Mailboxes. A ground installation utilizing cement is recommended for these heavy-duty steel posts. This makes it next to impossible for a thief to saw the mailbox off from the post.
Furthermore, bolting the mailbox to the steel post reduces the leverage a thief is able to obtain when trying to pry the mailbox open.
5. Hand-Welded Seams Increase Strength
All Fort Knox Mailboxes are hand-welded across the entire seam. Spot welding and rivets are never used, giving these locking mailboxes the most durable and long-lasting construction.
Why does Fort Knox not use spot welding or rivets? Depending on the application, both spot welding and rivets can be good construction choices. But when it comes to security, both spot welding and rivets provide additional pry points — which become security threats.
By reducing these pry points, you reduce the opportunity for a thief to create their own entry point. Furthermore, welding can increase the strength of the steel, making this seem stronger and sturdier.
6. Vault Lock Extreme Lock
The Fort Knox Standard Mailboxes come with a Vault Lock Extreme Lock. This is a 7-pin tubular lock that is virtually pick-proof. In technical terms, the vault lock extreme isn't just a lock, it is a Medeco key lock coupled with a deadbolt locking bar system, like a safe has. The key lock is quite a bit stronger than the standard key cylinders most people think of.
7. Powder Coated Finish
Steel rusts when it’s exposed to the elements, especially moisture. Powder coating is a process that provides both a decorative and protective finish. This application can be used on a wide array of materials and products.
The steel shell is electrically charged and a powder is sprayed on that sticks to the shell because of the charge. That being said, accidents happen.
It is possible for the coating to be damaged. But Fort Knox sells paint that matches their standard powder coating colors. In the event that your fort Knox mailbox is marred, you will likely be able to touch it up quickly and affordably.
8. Made in the USA
Fort Knox Mailboxes is located in Grant Pass, Oregon (aka Rogue Valley). Every mailbox they sell is manufactured in their US-based plant, just one mile off Interstate 5.