Two women arrested early Monday, Dec. 3, on suspicion of stealing hundreds of pieces of mail from mailboxes in and around Jurupa Valley, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.
According to a news release, they were spotted driving from mailbox to mailbox and taking items. A deputy stopped them and found mail from about 40 residents in their possession. They were booked on suspicion of theft and receiving stolen property.
The Sheriff’s Department isn’t the only agency investigating. When mail is stolen, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service also gets involved. This time of year must be an especially busy time for them, with thieves hoping to find Christmas cash and other lucrative items.
The Postal Inpsection Service offers some advice on how not to become a victim:
- 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.
- 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’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.
- Always deposit your mail in a mail slot at your local post office, or hand it to your letter carrier.
- 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 local police immediately, and then call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.
The agency asks that if you believe your mail was stolen, you report it immediately to your local postmaster or nearest Postal Inspector. “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–and it may help Postal Inspectors locate and apprehend the thieves.”
It also has a page where people can submit an on-line complaint.
BY Nikie Johnson
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