On Sunday, Dec. 15 the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a citizen who reported mailboxes on Nancy Court and Melody Court in the Pine Hill area of Eureka had been targeted by thieves and vandals. Christmas cards were ripped open and mail was strewn about the area.

The Humboldt County sheriff’s office would like to remind the public that mail theft is a continuing problem, especially this time of year. Thieves steal mail from unsecured mailboxes, before and after the delivery truck arrives. The thieves are typically looking for money, blank checks, packages, personal information and credit card information. During the holidays this becomes more lucrative for thieves due to holiday cards and packages being mailed. Some ways you can protect yourself are:

o Have a secured locking mailbox if possible.

o Use the letter slots at your post office to mail letters, a postal box or give them to a letter carrier.

o Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Do not leave it in your mailbox overnight.

o Do not send cash in the mail.

o Ask your bank for “secure” checks that cannot be altered.

o Tell your post office when you will be out of town, so they can hold your mail until you return.

o Watch for suspicious persons following the mailperson, UPS or Fed Ex truck or looking in mailboxes. Report suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency

You can also go to the US postal inspectors website at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/investigations/mailfraud/fraudschemes/mailtheft.