Residents of Sutton Gault were horrified to discover that their Victorian postbox had been stolen yesterday.
Thieves have also smashed the brick plinth supporting the cast iron wall box, causing extensive damage.
The brazen crime has been reported to Police and Royal Mail.
The Victorian letter box – a piece of local history – was thought to be stolen from Bury Lane between 1pm and 7.30pm yesterday (Thursday, November 9).
The postbox was originally in a garden wall but when this became unstable and was replaced by a fence, it went into storage while local residents and the Parish Council worked with Royal Mail to get it reinstated, resident Nicola Peck told Spotted in Ely.
“One of my neighbours built the plinth voluntarily to house it so it is really disappointing for us all.”
According to Royal Mail, about 100 post boxes are stolen each year, with crooks either re-selling the iconic items or using the iron for scrap metal.
There are around 160 different types of wall box, according to The Letter Box Study Group, with most dating back to the reign of Queen Victoria.
A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire Constabulary said police were investigating the incident.
“Extensive damage was also caused to the pillar that it was encased in. Investigations are ongoing.”
Anyone with information should contact police at www.cambs.police.uk/report or call 101 quoting reference CF0649601117.