Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mail Theft: A growing problem and how to help stop it

Temecula, CA - As many of us here in the suburbs of the Inland Empire have discovered, mail theft is a growing issue. Community 'cluster mail boxes' have been a prime target since they provide multiple opportunities to gain valuable personal info, checks and small packages. The picture here is from my mailbox across the street from my home. Needless to say I was rather pissed off to find this.

After speaking with the Riverside County Sheriffs Department and doing some research, I have some pointers I would like to share with you:


1 - Don't have mail or packages delivered to your home. Seriously, no joke.

Get a post office box or a mail box at a 'postal annex' type place. The advantage to a 'postal annex' type location over the Post Office is independent mail locations accept USPS mail AND UPS/FedEx - the Post Office will only accept USPS mail. You might need to drive to the mail box store to pick things up, but you will know that your Amazon package is safe there.

2 - If you are not into the idea above, or the cost for a separate mail box is outside of your budget, be sure to pick up your mail from your mailbox EVERY SINGLE DAY. Not every other day, not once a week. EVERY DAY! If your mail isn't in the mail box over night, then your mail doesn't get stolen by tweekers. It is really that simple. Tweekers and thieves typically work in the dark of the night, if your mail is already in your house - you have already made the best defensive move.


3 - If you have packages delivered to your home while not there, be sure to get a HD camera for the front door area. Make sure it works and is motion sensitive. Use it everyday. While some thieves will still take your package, if they see a camera, some will just move along after seeing others arrested when the videos of thieves go viral on social media.


4 - If your mail or packages are stolen, don't just post about it on FB or IG, FILE A DAMN POLICE REPORT. For real, my mail box has 12 slots and I was the ONLY PERSON TO FILE A REPORT in my neighborhood according to the deputy. Crimes are not going to report themselves, nor does your local patrol officer have time to be checking FB 'community talk' pages to see what crimes have been going down. Get on the phone and call PD so they know what areas to step up patrols and if the dirtbags thieves are caught - you will likely be notified if your items are retrieved as part of an arrest. As well you can report suspected mail losses to Postal Inspectors by calling 877-876-2455 (press 3) or at postalinspectors.uspis.gov


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