Historic mailbox vanishes from Old Escondido - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Historic mailbox vanishes from Old Escondido

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By News 8 Reporter Jeff Zevely

ESCONDIDO (CBS 8) - A piece of history is missing and residents in Escondido need your help to find it. The vintage mailbox valued at between $600 to $800 vanished in mid-December.

No one knows who took the 86-year-old cast-iron USPS mailbox along with the cement pillar it was mounted on at the corner of 5th and Juniper.  The Old Escondido Historic District wants it back. The district is considered to be the gem of Escondido, with dozens of restored homes dating back to 1885.

"That mailbox was an icon of our unique neighborhood," commented Carol Rea, president of the historic district. "It's the only one of its kind left in town and we were pleased that the Post Office allowed its continued use here."

News 8 spoke to a mail carrier who verified the mailbox may have been old but it was used daily to deliver US Mail.  According to the Old Escondido Historic District, local mail carrier Aaron Anderson restored the mailbox on his own time and at his own expense last April. Anderson removed four layers of old paint and after some research, painted the box bright blue, its original color. While working on the box, Anderson noticed that the old box carried on it a date on it of 1924.

The crime has been reported to the Escondido Police Department, which is investigating the theft. Rea suspects that "Whoever took that beloved relic could be guilty of stealing government property as well as any mail that could have been inside at the time and I believe such acts won't be taken lightly." 

In the meantime, Old Escondido neighbors are doing what they can to try to locate the mailbox. Messages have been posted on Facebook, flyers are in the works, and Craigslist and eBay are being monitored.  Additionally, the Old Escondido Board of Directors held an emergency vote to approve a reward.

"We just want our old mailbox back," reaffirmed Rea.

The Old Escondido Historical District is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the safe recovery of the mailbox. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Historic District at 760-291-7206 or call the Escondido Police Department at 760-743-TIPS. 

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