Oklahoma Mail Thefts Turn Season Of Giving Into Season Of Taking

Wednesday, December 16th 2015, 11:05 pm

By: News On 6

Tis' the season of giving, and, unfortunately, in many cases, it is also the season of taking.

With millions of packages going out, your mailbox may be a prime target, but keeping a few things in mind before shipping and receiving mail could lessen the chances.

U.S. postal investigators said before dropping off your mail in the slot, make sure you haven't missed the last pick-up time.

If you have, wait until the next day, because if you leave a package there's a higher chance a thief can swoop in and take it.

Brooke Porter is a proud first-time homeowner and said going to the mailbox used to make her happy.

"I was so excited to put in mail and lift up the little flag and be able to run out and meet the mailman," Porter said.

She said someone stole a check meant to pay her mortgage from her mailbox, altered it then cashed it a grocery store.

"I feel violated. It makes me feel a little bit nervous," she said.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, more than 591 million packages are expected to be delivered; so Porter isn't the only victim.

"It makes me sad, this time of year, where it's a time of giving it's also a time of desperation and stealing," she said.

To help combat theft, the USPS recommends holding your mail at your Post Office, changing your package's delivery address while it's in transit if you won't be there when it arrives, securing your shipment using USPS Signature Services and considering renting a PO BOX.

See More Tips Here

"Sometimes we do get mailbox inquiries," said owner of Nelly’s Security, Sean Nelson. "What I would recommend, is getting a camera and install it in dedicated areas of interest."

To further help, Nelson recommends strategically placing cameras to catch license plates.

Since her check was stolen, Porter now drives to the post office to physically hand over her mail.

"It makes me sad that, by the choices of a few, we have to alter our everyday living," she said.

Mailbox theft is a federal offense. The penalty can be five years in federal prison or a fine up to $250,000.


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