ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — You probably don’t think twice about mailing out a rent check or bill payment, but maybe you should. We’re putting you on the lookout for some first class thieves.
It’s bad enough that you have to be careful answering emails and phone calls because of scams, but now, you have got to watch what you put into the mailbox.
“We’ve seen throughout this year, we’ve had numerous cases of larcenies from post boxes in the Town of DeWitt,” said Sgt. Jerry Pace of the DeWitt Police Department.
The mailbox is the target and the tools of the trade are often a device with a sticky substance that can be lowered inside the box to fish out mail.
Pace said, “These people who are stealing from these mailboxes, they’re typically looking for personal information or financial information to benefit themselves or the group they’re involved with.”
Nottingham Plaza has been a good spot for thieves to go fishing. They somehow pulled mail out of a mailbox there, stealing checks and identities of unknowing victims.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service confirms they’re on the case, but wouldn’t share how many other cases they are investigating in Central New York. Oftentimes, thefts can be tough to trace, as victims don’t even realize they are being targeted until weeks after dropping their checks off in the mail.
To help combat this, it’s suggested that you drop mail containing checks directly at the Post office or hand them directly to your mail carrier.
If you use a mailbox, deposit the mail as close to the scheduled pickup time as possible.
“We encourage that if anybody sees suspicious activities around post boxes, if they seem them monkeying around with the post box, please call 911 immediately and notify the authorities,” Pace said.
Postal inspectors also want to be notified if you see any g;ue or sticky substances on the mailbox. They say getting that kind of information can help them determine if it’s a larger mail theft problem in your neighborhood.