Canada Post left a woman’s Christmas package in plain sight, and then threatened to charge her with harassment if she kept asking them for help after its contents were stolen.
Every Christmas, Stacey-Lee Burke gets a pickup notice in her mailbox telling her a package is waiting at the Canada Post distribution centre on Range Road.
The gifts are from her mother and sister in Red Deer, Alberta.
But on Tuesday morning, she came home from a doctor’s appointment to find two packages lying near her doorstep, a break from previous years.
The tiny box on top was wrapped in Christmas paper and intact.
The second box was not.
“The bottom of the box was punched out and all of the contents were stolen,” said Burke, who lives in the Northland Trailer Park with her friend’s mom and her son.
The thieves hit the jackpot.
They took two sweaters from the Bay worth $60, a pair of $49 Tommy Hilfiger pyjamas, a pearl ring worth $100 and $100 in cash.
“The ring’s empty container was left in the box,” said Burke.
She’s handling the loss well.
It’s Canada Post’s reaction that has her shocked.
She called the Whitehorse office soon after to ask why the package was dropped off, instead of the usual pickup notice.
She left a message, but didn’t hear back. So she called again and got a manager.
Canada Post is allowed to drop packages unattended if it’s deemed a “safe drop,” the manager said.
The theft is not the post office’s responsibility, it is the RCMP’s, he said.
Burke told him that the delivery was evidently not a safe drop, since the contents of the package were stolen.
“And (the manager) hung up on me,” she said.
Burke called back and got the same manager.
“I did not speak to him angrily,” she said.
“I mean, I was upset – I was crying a little bit.”
She told him again she thought Canada Post was responsible because it changed its policy.
“I’ve always gotten a card when I’m not at home,” she told him.
If a safe drop does happen, they have to make sure the drop site is hidden, says Canada Post’s regular parcel manual, posted on its website.
It specifically states the package can’t be left on the doorstep.
Burke’s home doesn’t have any obvious hidden spots, she said.
And if there was one, the policy requires the delivery person to leave a note in the mailbox notifying the owner of the hiding place.
But there was no note in her mailbox at all.
The manager on the phone, who called himself Derek, wouldn’t have any of it.
He told her if she called again, she would be charged with harassment.
She asked for his name. He wouldn’t provide it.
She asked for his boss’s name. He wouldn’t provide it.
Burke’s mother did insure part of the gift’s value.
“But not all of it because it usually arrives,” said Burke.
She filed a report with the RCMP.
“They basically said we’ll open a file for you, but chances are you’re not getting your gifts back,” she said.
“And that I believe – they’re gone.”
Canada Post won’t discuss the matter.
“I won’t speak about the matter because it’s a privacy issue,” said Lillian Salchner, a spokesperson based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“I can tell you Derek is a great employee,” she said.
All customers can contact Canada Post’s customer service office, she said.
Contact James Munson at