Over the past several weeks there have been numerous reports of mail theft throughout Burke County. Residents are reporting they have been finding opened and unopened mail scattered in ditches and yards. According to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, mail theft is a common occurrence, and it is difficult to prevent. However, the U.S. Postal Inspector has the following recommendations:
If you see someone suspicious near a mailbox or you see somebody steal mail, call police immediately, then report it to Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 (say “Theft”). If you find discarded opened or unopened mail along the side or the road or in another location, contact local law enforcement and then your local Post Office.
The Sheriff’s Office also offers the following tips on how to protect your mail from thieves: Do not let incoming or outgoing mail sit in your mailbox. You can significantly reduce the chance of being victimized by simply removing your mail from your mailbox every day. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery, especially if you are expecting checks, credit cards, or other negotiable items.
If you will not be home when the items are expected, ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail. Just as you would not leave the door to your home unlocked while you are away, you should not let mail accumulate in your mailbox. Do not leave your mail unattended for extended periods. Have your Post Office hold your mail while you are away. You can do this online at www.usps.com.
If you do not receive a check or other valuable mail you are expecting, contact the issuing agency. If you change your address, immediately notify your Post Office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail. Hand outgoing mail to your letter carrier, or mail it at the Post Office, an official blue USPS collection box on the street, or a secure receptacle at your place of business.
Never send cash or coins in the mail. Use checks or money orders. Ask your bank for “secure” checks that are more difficult to alter. If you have concerns about security in your neighborhood, consider installing a lockable mailbox or obtaining PO Box service from your local Post Office. Consider starting a neighborhood watch program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted neighbors, you can watch each other’s mailboxes and residences. For More Information, Please Visit USPIS.GOV and select Mail Theft Tips.