Reduce Mail Theft Crime

Officers of the San Marino Police Department have recently made numerous arrests of criminals who were in possession of stolen mail, and the tools to do so.  In the past three weeks, San Marino officers arrested 4 individuals who were in possession of numerous pieces of stolen mail.  Along with the stolen mail, these criminals were in possession of tools specifically used to illegally obtain mail.

Mail theft has become more prevalent than ever.  Criminals can obtain your personal information and/or financial information by intercepting your incoming and outgoing mail.  Depending on the information/mail stolen, criminals are able to alter checks, create credit accounts, assume your identity, access bank/credit accounts, and cause significant problems to parties that are anticipating the stolen payment.

Please be aware of the following tips to help reduce your chances of becoming a victim of this crime:

  1. Make sure your mailbox is secure.  A hand should not be able to fit inside the drop slot.  There should be a separate keyed door for you to retrieve your mail.  Make sure your mailbox is mounted securely to a post, gate, or wall.  Mail slots built into your front door or house wall will keep your mail safe inside your home.  

2.   Avoid paying bills by check.  Checks which are stolen are frequently altered to a different payee.  Your checks also contain your bank account number and routing number on the bottom, enabling fraudsters to duplicate checks, or attempt to gain access to your accounts.  Many bank cell phone apps allow remote check deposits via a photo of a check.  Criminals use this technology to their benefit when stealing checks.  

3.   Do not leave outgoing mail unsecured in or on your mailbox.  If you need to send mail, hand it personally to a postal carrier, or deliver it in person to the post office.  Even US Postal service drop boxes (blue mailboxes) have been targeted by criminals and mail stolen from inside. 

Our Officers work hard to keep this community safe, but we need your help.  If you see something suspicious, say something by calling the San Marino Police Department to report the incident.  Any questions or comments can be directed to the Watch Commander at (626) 300-0729.