Mail Theft Monday : 11/08/21 – 11/14/21

More mail theft covered in yet another #MailTheftMonday –
This week were covering crimes across our country, including the theft of entire cluster box units, postal box theft, organized porch pirates and anything and everything mail theft. Coast to coast, no one is safe from mail theft – unless they have a MailBoss!

Where is my mailbox? Antelope neighborhood’s mailbox disappears overnight

by Gurajpal Sangha, Jose Fabian, 11/11/21 – Sacramento, CA

Where did the mailbox go? It’s a mystery for one Sacramento County neighborhood. The spot where their mailbox was now sits empty. This happened on Maraschino Way near the Elverta Road and Watt Avenue intersection in North Sacramento. Many of the people FOX40 spoke with didn’t know the mailbox was gone. If it was stolen, homeowners wonder what the thief got away with. 

Nuts and bolts left behind after Cluster MailBox Unit Stolen from neighborhood

The only clues something used to be there are just nuts and bolts left behind. Homeowners told FOX40 no one heard or saw anything suspicious. They believe it was stolen because they never received a notification from the U.S. Postal Service that their mailbox would be relocated. The USPS told FOX40 they do give notice in those instances. The USPS inspector said they will be looking into it. Meanwhile, homeowners are hoping no personal information was in their mailbox. ‘Today, someone could damage the mailbox, and tomorrow they can damage the personal property,’ Singh said. 

The USPS wants to remind people that mail theft is a federal crime, with a potential penalty of up to five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine. Potential penalty Up to 5 years in federal prison and up to $250,000 fine. Reward that leads to arrest and conviction is $10,000.

COMMENTS: This is quite an interesting case of cluster box mail theft. The thieves opted to unbolt and take the entire cluster unit! While we do hear of this kind of rampant theft happening from time to time, it is certainly uncommon. We recommend that if you do have a cluster box unit, or a surface mount mailbox that you do ensure the anchors and hardware are tightened down using security hardware, and that you use heavy-duty thread locker on all the mounting hardware as well. Installations where the post are cemented into the ground are obviously ideal for this reason, because with our mailbox mounting system there is no way to access the hardware except from the inside of the secure, locking area of the box.

These thieves were quite brave to take the entire Cluster Box Unit (CBU). I wonder what they did with the CBU once they were done breaking in. The downside of a CBU is that all of the mail inside it (sometimes 20+ residents mail can be accessed via a single locking door. The mechanisms and security of these CBU’s are often quite easily violated, and thieves are typically willing to spend more time accessing this type of unit because the time they have to spend accessing it is easily worth the large reward of so much mail.

Mail stolen from Park Ridge Post Office drop boxes

by ABC7 Chicago Digital Team, ABC7 – 11/08/21 – Park Ridge, IL

Park Ridge police are investigating after mail was stolen from three collection boxes at the Park Ridge Post Office.

Police said at an officer was doing a premise check around 12:30 a.m. Monday when he found all three outside drive-up mail drop boxes pried open and empty.

All three boxed had been recently replaced, police said. Mail was last collected from there at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6.

Police ask that anyone who sent any mail that contained financial information or payments to take immediate steps to prevent them from becoming victims of fraud. That includes notifying banks, canceling checks and credit cards, and taking identity theft precautions.

Mail theft is a federal crime, and the investigation is being led by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

COMMENTS: Even post office drop boxes are not secure. We recommend dropping off very important mail at the post office directly if possible, and in the case that you must use a drop box or leave your mail in the outgoing section of your mailbox, we recommend dropping off your mail as close to the pick up time as possible. Leaving your mail in an unprotected area overnight leaves it especially vulnerable to these kinds of theft attempts. Especially as we come into the holiday package season, crooks are going to be more and more aggressive about mail theft.

Hillsboro police arrest two suspects accused of stealing packages

Hillsboro police say two people have been arrested for stealing packages off porches. On Thursday at about 10:28 a.m., officers got a call of packages being stolen off porches in the area of 7957 Southeast Engelman Street. Officers were able to find and stop the suspect’s vehicle. Officers say they found numerous stolen items including packages and mail.

Hillsboro police arrest two suspects accused of stealing packages
Hillsboro Police Department
James Kyle Gray and Luis Rafael Onsurez
James Kyle Gray and Luis Rafael Onsurez Jail Booking Photos

The two suspects were identified as 28-year-old James Kyle Gray and 32-year-old Luis Rafael Onsurez. Gray was lodged at the Washington County Jail on charges of mail theft and third-degree theft. Onsurez was lodged at the Washington County Jail on charges of third-degree theft and a probation violation.

If you are a victim of package theft or mail theft, your items might have been recovered in this arrest. Please call the Hillsboro police at 503-681-6190 in reference to case #21-19232

COMMENTS: Porch pirates are at it again! While we don’t have a locking security package box ready for consumers yet, we do have one in the works and we are very excited to provide our customers an option to keep their packages safe and secure. It is quite a hassle when you are expecting a delivery of an important or perhaps even necessary item, and some thief decides that it is there’s for the taking!

Aside from creating a secure package location for your deliveries, some other ideas to prevent or deter package theft include installing flood lights and security cameras on the premise/entry to your home. When thieves know that they are under surveillance it can certainly help deter them from lurking too long or casing your home for other crimes.

The addition of a locking security package mailbox, such as our Mail Manager, is also a great way to keep your mail secure. The USPS is often contracted by other third party carriers such as Amazon, and the postal service will definitely use your mailbox for any packages that your mailbox can accept as it is typically easier for them than leaving packages on your porch.

Thieves steal from mailboxes at dozens of homes in a Lee County neighborhood

by Rob Manch, Fox4 Southwest Florida – 11/11/2021 – Lee County, FL

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a case of mail theft at dozens of houses in a neighborhood off of Penzance Blvd. We found several mailboxes hanging open when we got to the area Wednesday.

Shelly McMahon is the owner of Southern Fresh Farms. She said she it was a surprise to see how many mailboxes were robbed. “Everybody’s mailboxes were left open. So I don’t think it was random, I think it was just everybody got hit,” said McMahon.

Unlocked mailboxes hang open after mail theft in Lee County, FL

McMahon’s mailbox was hanging open as well when she checked. She found her mail over here on Flintlock Ln., and she said it looked like the thieves were trying to get money. “What they did was open all of my bills and just took out the checks that I had written,” said McMahon.

The Sheriff’s Office showed up to investigate the crime. Thankfully for McMahon, she said her bank was able to cancel the checks before any money came out, but it was still a lot of hassle. “Canceled all my checks, so now I have to re-write and figure out who gets what and where it goes to,” said McMahon.

McMahon said she’s talking with neighbors, hoping someone might have security footage of the criminals. She also hopes the thieves know how much trouble they caused for everyone living there. “Why can’t these people use their power for good instead of evil? Because this took a lot of time and a lot of effort to do this,” said McMahon.

We did reach out to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to see if they could provide any information about the investigation, but they declined to comment. McMahon said deputies took all of the mail that was scattered with them when they left, including hers, so that may be a part of the investigation.

COMMENTS: We noticed in this case that most of the boxes in the pictures were standard, unlocked mailboxes. A lot of people don’t realize the severity and regularity of mail theft throughout the country, until it happens to them! Common thieves are looking for any pieces of identifying information that they can often sell to other, more specialized thieves. If they get a check, identification card, or line of credit, they’ve hit the jackpot.

Unfortunately, we know that a lot of these residents might go to their local Home Depot or Lowe’s where the locking mailboxes you find in store on the shelves are easily violated by thieves in a matter of seconds with a flat head screwdriver. For the same price, consumers interested in a locking mailbox can get a Mail Manager by Mail Boss and get a box that is built to last and withstand serious mail theft attempts. Without the protection of our patented locking system and the durability that MailBoss is known for, residents are vulnerable to mail theft.

The proof is in the pudding (or in this case, the quality of our locking system and constructions). Check out this video to see what I mean!

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