Authorities report spike in mail thefts
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Mail theft is a big concern in almost every neighborhood in southern Arizona. Leaders of many local neighborhood associations say they're getting many complaints about the crime from residents.
These thieves are bold and creative. According to the area's U.S. Postal Inspector, most of the thefts historically occur overnight, or in the early morning. Now thieves are striking in broad daylight. They're hitting up multi-unit boxes, curbside boxes, and in some cases even following mail workers and stealing packages from porches.
David Birch, the U.S. Postal Inspector for the Phoenix Division/Tucson Domicile said what used to be a crime that typically spiked during the holiday season has become a year-round constant.
The U.S. Postal Service has investigators working around the clock to catch these thieves. In the past year Birch said they have made about a dozen arrests in Tucson.
Tucson resident Raymond Park learned a tough lesson when he came home one night to find all the neighborhood mail boxes knocked to the ground.
"We had what they called wildcat boxes. I came home after 9 and all of them were knocked to the ground, everything of value was taken," Park said.
The U.S. Postal service has advice for residents to protect their mail:
- Pick up your mail every day. Don't let it pile up.
- If you're leaving town, have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail, or temporarily stop delivery.
- Check your bank accounts for fraudulent activity, and report it immediately.
- Use letter slots to mail out letters. Thieves are also looking for outgoing mail, which tends to be bills with signed checks enclosed.
You can report mail theft and vandalism of mail boxes to 1-877-876-2455. Select Option 3.
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