Mail theft is on the rise throughout the Coachella Valley. Incoming and outgoing mail sometime contain personal information, checks, money orders, and possibly cash.
Unfortunately, thieves know this, and are waiting to steal your mail. Make it harder for thieves to steal your mail by following these tips:
- Have your local post office hold your mail while you're on vacation, or absent from your home for a long period of time.
- If you don't receive a check or other valuable mail you were expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.
- Always deposit your mail in a mail slot at your local post office, or hand it to your letter carrier. Thieves could break into mailboxes at night and steal your outgoing mail.
- Consider starting a neighborhood watch program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted friends and neighbors, you can watch each other's mailboxes (as well as homes). If you observe a mail thief at work, call the police immediately.
- Never send cash or coins in the mail. Use checks or money orders.
- Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery, especially if you're expecting checks, credit cards or other negotiable items. If you won't be home when the items are expected, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail.
- If you believe your mail was stolen, report it immediately to your local postmaster or nearest Postal Inspector. You'll be asked to file a formal complaint using PS Form 2016, Mail Theft and Vandalism Complaint. By analyzing information collected from the form, Postal Inspectors may determine whether your problem is isolated or part of a larger mail theft problem in your neighborhood. It may also help Postal Inspectors and local police locate and apprehend the mail thieves.
- If you change your address, immediately notify your post office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.