May 22, 2019

Authorities issue warning in regards to holiday mail theft

(Franklin, GA) — The Heard County Sheriff’s Department is warning local citizens to beware of mail thieves who might be targeting residences during the holiday season.

Mail customers are encouraged to be vigilant about checking their mail regularly and to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.

December is by far the worst month for mail theft, and the reason is obvious. Opportunistic thieves know that people are sending goodies and gifts in the mail. They target unlocked mailboxes, locking mailboxes and porches alike to grab what they can get, and steal Christmas.

If someone suspects packages or letters might be missing, they should contact the local post office for help in tracking them down.

If anyone notes any suspicious persons, vehicles, or other activity they are urged to contact local police and the post office.

Postal inspectors across the country work hard to protect the mail, but with deliveries to more than 100 million addresses, the Postal Inspection Service can’t do the job alone.

If you don’t want to solely rely on retailers to protect your packages, here are some tips from the U.S. Postal Service on how to prevent your mail from getting stolen this holiday season:

Signature confirmation: One of the easiest ways to protect your package is to require a signature upon delivery. That way someone has to be physically present to accept the package. If not, it goes back to the post office for later pickup.

Informed delivery: Using online package tracking, you can give the postal carrier specific directions on where to leave a package on your property. “Maybe it’s inside the garage door. Maybe there’s a special spot on the porch.” “The carrier can get those instructions to where the package can be left.”

Hold for pickup: You can request priority, or priority express, mail be held at a secure post office, where you can pick it up at your convenience. The most secure form of delivery is by P.O. Box. “Customers have to have a key to get into a P.O. Box, and that’s also generally inside a post office or inside a building.”

Alternate shipping address: Packages can be mailed with an alternate shipping address, such as your place of work. So if the package gets delivered while you’re not at home, it can be brought to your office. Just be sure to include the business name and suite number.

Package intercept: For a small fee, packages can be rerouted online to a different address while they’re still being shipped.

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