August 17, 2016

A Safety Note from Jim Jim Hardy: Protecting Your Mail

Jim Hardy, NPU F Public Safety Coordinator
Several of our neighbors have been the victims of mail and package theft in recent months.  The U.S. Postal Inspection Service which investigates mail theft provides the below advice for protecting your mail:

  • Use the letter slots inside your Post Office for your mail, or hand it to a letter carrier.
  • Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight. If you're expecting checks, credit cards, or other negotiable items, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail.
  • If you don't receive a check or other valuable mail you're expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.
  • If you change your address, immediately notify your Post Office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.
  • Don’t send cash in the mail.
  • Tell your Post Office when you’ll be out of town, so they can hold your mail until you return.
  • Report all suspected mail theft to the local police and to the Postal Inspection Service. 
  • Start or join a neighborhood watch and/or security patrol program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted friends and neighbors, you can watch each other's mailboxes (as well as homes).
  • Consult with your local Postmaster for the most up-to-date regulations on mailboxes, including the availability of locked centralized or curbside mailboxes.
If you see a mail thief at work, or if you believe your mail was stolen, call police immediately, then call Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 (press 3). You can also file a mail theft report online at https://postalinspectors.uspis.govClick on  “Mail Theft” and enter all applicable information.  The more you provide, the more likely it is that they can help you.

Editor's note: We've had a number of mail and package thefts reported on Nextdoor recently.  Most have been reported to police, but few, if any, have been reported to US Postal Inspection Service which has primary investigative and prosecutive jurisdiction for mail theft.

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