SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — We may be sending less snail mail but more of it is going missing. Authorities are seeing a spike in mail crime.
Michelle Pounder’s Valentines weren’t so sweet this year.
“They arrived delivered completely open,” she says.
Cards from her mother arrived ripped open, the cash inside missing.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was like, why would anyone do that?” she said.
She’s not alone. We received similar complaints via social media about money missing from Valentine’s and birthday cards.
Postal Inspector Jeff Fitch says they are aware of the problem.
“This video shot by a home security camera in Los Angeles shows a crook jogging from mailbox to mailbox,” he said.
Postal service statistics on mail theft nationally indicate some progress is being made. The service investigated 1,400 cases in fiscal year 2015, down from 1,525 the year before, according to spokesman Frank J. Schissler.
Also, more than 2,500 arrests were made in fiscal year 2015, Schissler said, up from 2,335 in 2014.
If your mail has been taken, the chances are your neighbors has been taken.
Pounder believes, in her case, a postal worker may be to blame because her mailbox can only be opened with a key. When she reported the crime to her local post office ….
“He told me it probably happened in their San Francisco facility by a ring of thieves throught the USPS.”
Another victim said she was also told postal workers were the culprits.
“The vast majority of people we pursue, investigate and arrest, do not work for the postal service,” says Fitch.
He admits, most people do not get stolen money back and advises people to register and insure any valuables sent through the mail.
“These are federal offenses,” he says.
Pounder just wishes the people doing this would just have a heart.
“It’s not right,” she says.
Considering it is tax season, be mindful of sensitive information you’re sending through the mail. Opt for secure online uploads whenever possible, and locked or secure mailboxes.