COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – The United State Postal Service has confirmed it received reports of stolen mail at the College Station Post Office on Harvey Mitchell Parkway South.
According to the College Station Police Department, five thefts have been reported since the beginning of November. Mail is being stolen from the blue USPS collection box outside the post office. In August of last year, a similar situation occurred in Bryan.
As the holidays quickly approach Postal Plus owners, Becky Kochener said there are growing concerns about putting checks in the mail, and she’s seen an uptick in sending mail in preparation for the holidays.
“Our mailboxes are rented because people are very concerned about theft on their porches or apartment complexes,” Kochener said. “We’re renting out a ton of mailboxes, and we actually have virtual mailboxes that we’re renting out.”
In Kochener’s experience, the holidays mean more thieves looking to steal other people’s mail. The business that handles Texas A&M University’s dorm mail has already received two complaints from students in the past two weeks and says they received open letters.
“We’ll do our due diligence, we’ll have the video, we’ll look at it and investigate,” Kochener said. “One of them seemed to have a machine grab something and open it. The other looked ripped. In such cases we ask and advise the students and whoever sent the card to inform the Inspector General online and file a complaint.
Kochener said Postal Plus will do its best to proactively identify any issues and provide action to those affected as well as notify them.
“I always tell my people, hey you look at every piece, every card that comes in because I think that’s where things are most at stake, some of the cards may at least have gift cards on campus,” Kochener said. “But porch piracy spikes at Christmastime.”
For those who have a tracking number, Kochenor suggests going online and entering the postal service into a lost mail search.
“If there’s no productivity from that they can file an online claim,” Kochener said. “If they ship through a third party like us, let us do that work for you. That’s our job because you brought it to us to mail. We can do circles and headaches for you.
Postal Plus also includes other options such as virtual mailboxes and its receiving service, Kochener said.
“We accept a one-off item and we charge a fee for that,” Kochenor said. “They’re especially likely to see if it has significant or sentimental value.”
KBTX reached out to the US Postal Inspection Services, which provided this statement:
“Every day, the US Postal Service securely delivers mail to more than 150 million addresses; mail that includes checks, money orders, credit cards, and merchandise. While US mail remains the most secure means of shipping such items, unfortunately, these items are attractive to thieves.
USPIS received reports of mail theft from a USPS collection box located outside the post office at 2130 Harvey Mitchell Pkwy S, College Station, TX 77840. Postal inspectors are checking these reports. Inspectors work with local law enforcement partners and the community to identify those responsible for mail theft.
Every mailbox, from an apartment panel to a blue USPS collection box, has strong security measures to protect the contents. However, thieves use various methods and tools to try to bypass these security measures. Mail theft often occurs during the night hours, when there are fewer people to watch.
Although mail theft can happen, there are steps postal customers can take to reduce victimization. Don’t let incoming mail sit in your mailbox. Postal inspectors recommend checking your mailbox daily and removing your mail as soon as possible. Customers can hand their outgoing mail to a uniformed letter carrier, deposit it in a mail slot inside the lobby of their local post office, or drop it off in an official blue USPS collection box. If they use a USPS collection box, they should make sure they drop off their mail before the last collection time of the day, which is displayed on the box. The longer your mail sits in any mailbox, the more susceptible it is to theft.
US Mail is one of the safest and most reliable ways to send gifts and greetings to friends and loved ones. We encourage all customers to follow US Postal Inspection Service prevention tips to protect their mail. More information can be found on our website, www.uspis.gov.
Postal inspectors rely on consumer reports to identify any items taken from the mail. If you think you may be a victim of mail theft, you should report it to your local police And For postal inspection service by calling our hotline, 877-876-2455 or visiting our website, www.uspis.gov. If you witness mail theft or have knowledge of mail theft-related activity, postal investigators ask that you provide your tips by calling our hotline or visiting our website.
Mail theft is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison and substantial fines.
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