More than a month after New Canaan Police warned residents to avoid using large USPS mailboxes due to a rise in the thefts from the boxes, they have issued another warning as the crimes continue.
On Thursday, the department issued another warning via Twitter warning residents: "Public and private mailboxes continue to be compromised," they wrote. "If possible, please visit the post office to mail your letters."
Lt. Jason Ferraro said the practice has become an epidemic across not only Connecticut but other states as well and that the department is spending "an enormous amount of time on identity theft and monetary thefts" as a result of the crimes.
Ferraro said the crimes are taking place at all mailboxes across town and warns residents to take the five minutes to walk into the post office and hand all mail to the clerk.
"I can't stress enough how important this is due to the high volume of crimes taking place," he added.
Criminals get to the mail by using devices to drop into the USPS mailboxes and pull out mail that may include checks or other valuables.
They then either "wash" the checks and write them for different amounts and to different people or just cash or deposit them.
"If one or two people read this and take that extra step maybe they can avoid becoming a victim of crime," he added.
Police offered the following tips:
- Consider transferring money via other methods;
- Drop mail containing checks directly at the Post Office or hand it directly to your mail carrier;
- If you use a mailbox, deposit the mail as close to the scheduled pick-up time as possible;
- Inspect mailboxes for signs of tampering prior to depositing your mail;
- When writing a check, use a pen with pigmented ink that cannot be erased;
- If you see any suspicious activity around mailboxes, call the police.
If you are a victim of mail theft, contact the New Canaan Police at 203-594-3500.
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