TUCSON, Ariz. - Mail thefts have hit another midtown Tucson neighborhood.
This time it’s the Palo Verde Neighborhood where a thief or thieves ransacked a string of mailboxes.
Even in the age of e-mail a lot of your life flows through your mailbox---bills, checks, credit card applications that a thief can use to get credit in your name.
So it pays to do all you can to keep your mail out of their hands.
The mail carrier delivers the mail, and thieves see what goes in those boxes as easy pickings to power their criminal lifestyles. What they find in the mail can even be enough for them to steal your identity, and tap into your credit.
This week someone hit the mailboxes on a stretch of Rita Avenue.
Palo Verde Neighborhood Association President Ronni Kotwicka says, ‘They’ll go through one block and it’s usually done after midnight in the dead of night when people are asleep.So you have people going in your mailboxes on the street they just go from one to another to another and catch as much as they can.”
Kotwicka says don’t leave mail in your box overnight. The less time it’s in the box, the less opportunity for the thief.
In this neighborhood at least one of the boxes cracked open was a locked mailbox meant to keep a thief out but locked mailboxes can still help.
We found a hardened mailbox at Ace Hardware on 22nd. It does cost more than an average box, but surely costs less than identity theft and even if a locked mailbox can be cracked, the extra time and effort required can make a thief move on to an easier target.
You might also decide getting your mail at a Post Office box is a worthwhile trade of time and trouble for a more secure place for your mail.
US Postal Inspector Dan Grossenbach says tell police or postal inspectors if you think your mailbox has been hit so they can track the thefts and track down the thief---and start looking for signs someone’s abusing what they found in your mail.
U.S. Postal Inspectors make mail theft a priority and offer more advice you can find at this link.