The Bakersfield Police Department shares tips to prevent mailbox theft ahead of holiday season

Posted at 10:03 AM, Nov 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 14:25:54-05
Please refer all theft related reports to the United States Postal Inspector. If you are a fraud victim as a result of mail theft, you may report that to your local police agency.
How do I prevent mail theft?
  • Do not leave outgoing mail in your unlocked mailbox
  • Do deposit mail at your local post office, especially if you are sending checks or documents with sensitive personal information
  • Make sure your mailbox is in good condition. Mailboxes in poor condition often expose mail to theft and bad weather
  • Promptly pick up your incoming mail once it is delivered to your mailbox
  • Purchase a locked mailbox or convert your unlocked box to the lockable type
  • Arrange for your mail to be delivered to a Post Office Box (P. O. Box) for a small fee
  • Consider having regular income checks deposited electronically right into your bank account via direct deposit. It's easy, and in most cases, it's free. Contact your bank for details
In case your mail is stolen, to avoid fraudulent use of your checking account, use the following tips for writing checks.
  • Write out in full the "payee" and "memo" portions. Fill up the entire lines with letters or squiggly lines
  • Use thick, dark ink; red ink is best (not felt pen) to write you checks. Roller-ball pens are best
  • Purchase checks through institutions that use tamper-resistant paper and ink
  • Never send cash or coins through the mail. Always send a check or money order, and don't forget to drop it off for delivery at the post office
  • Promptly report non-receipt of credit cards, checks, and other valuable mail to the senders
  • Immediately notify the post office and mailers if you change your address. If you are going on vacation, notify the post office, or have a trusted friend or neighbor pick up your mail promptly after delivery
  • Be observant of activities on your street, including those near your letter carrier, his or her postal vehicle, residential mailboxes, and collection boxes
  • Immediately report any suspicious persons or activity