“Merry Christmas Elizabeth, Love Granny and Grandpa.” That was the message tucked into a box containing the children’s book “Three French Hens.”
But Elizabeth’s gift from her grandparents won’t be under the Christmas tree.
That’s because the book was one of 10 packages and about 100 pieces of mail dumped in the road and behind a stonewall on Northwood Drive in Easton.
A Northwood Drive neighbor called the Easton Police Department on Dec. 12 to complain about a large amount of boxes and papers dumped in and around the cul de sac.
What police found surprised them in its magnitude. Boxes shipped by Amazon and other companies and stolen mail, including bills, Christmas cards and personal mail bearing recent postmarks and ship dates never made it to their intended destination.
Displayed on a table and on the floor of the police department evidence room the misbegotten trove reeks of rotting cardboard and paper. The postmarks and ship dates were for the past few weeks, some as recent as Dec. 8. Others have faded away from being weathered.
A payment check to Hoffman Fuel Company was among the items. Surprisingly, not one package nor piece of mail was from Easton.
“Most are from Trumbull, a few from Monroe and one from Shelton,” Easton Police Capt. Richard Doyle said. “We are working with postal inspectors and once this stuff dries out we will turn it over to the individual towns to conduct investigations.”
Money, checks, small electronics
All of the boxes were opened. Christmas cards and personal mail was opened, but some envelopes that appeared to contain bills were rejected.
“Someone won’t be getting these Christmas candles,” Doyle said, pointing to a box of decorations intended to light up someone’s window. Nor will someone be getting a brown jacket or a hot pink dress, which were among the discarded items.
“They were looking for money, checks, small electronics,” Doyle said. A packing slip for a digital watch was in an empty mailer.
To prevent theives from stealing mail and packages, Doyle urges people to bring their mail to the post office or U.S. Postal Service authorized mailbox rather than leaving it in their roadside mailbox.
“Track your boxes sent by UPS and Fed Ex,” he said. “Try to have someone at home when they are delivered.”
He also urges people to keep close track of their bank accounts and other personal accounts.