Peoria homeowner captures mail thief on unusual mailbox camera
PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Peoria neighborhood is being targeted by thieves who are after what’s inside your mailbox. It’s especially concerning this time of year with companies sending out W2s and other personal tax forms. A unique mailbox camera caught a thief red-handed, capturing the moments they stole mail out of a mailbox and took off in a neighborhood near 77th and Cactus avenues.
“He got a great shot of the person’s face and the shirt they were wearing,” said Lennie McCloskey, a Maricopa County Constable. McCloskey also previously had his mail stolen. He said the video was taken on Wednesday morning when the postal bandits made their way up and down the streets.
Police are now reviewing the video. “You know it’s wrong,” said McCloskey. “It’s not a harmless crime. You can get your medication in the mail now, your social security checks for people on fixed incomes; I mean that’s devastating to them.”
Forty-nine million Americans over the past year have had their mail stolen, according to Security.org, and 19% were from Arizona. However, other neighbors in Peoria have taken steps to ensure their mail stays in their boxes. “I have a note that says for the person who delivers the mail to lock our box up,” said Teresa, a neighbor. Arizona’s Family reached out to USPS about the string of mail thefts, and they’re looking into it.
USPS provided these tips to residents:
- Deposit outgoing mail into blue collection boxes before the final pick up of the same day of deposit. Check the pickup schedule posted on the box to ensure your mail will not sit in the box overnight or over the weekend.
- Collect your mail from your mailbox every day as soon as possible after it is delivered. Do not allow mail to accumulate, even in a locked mailbox.
- If you have concerns about security in your neighborhood, place mail in a collection box in another area, in a secure receptacle at your place of business, or at a post office.
- If you see any suspicious substance, such as glue or other sticky product on the mailbox, please contact your local post office to report it, and notify Postal Inspectors by calling 877-876-2455.
- Immediately report any suspicious activity at any mail receptacle to your local police.
- If customers believe they have been a victim of mail theft, identity theft, fraud or other crimes involving the U.S. Mail, they can report it online 24/7, by visiting the Inspection Service website at www.uspis.gov/report. You can also call their national hotline at 877-876-2455.
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