Rise in mail thefts nationwide raise concerns for carriers

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 9:31 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Across the nation, the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) reports a significant increase in mail robberies. Now it’s cracking down on crime.

Continuing an initiative that began in May, postal inspectors put security at the top of their priorities. More than 38,000 cases of theft have been reported involving blue collection boxes.

A joint effort by USPIS and the United States Postal Service, Project Safe Delivery, looks to protect our mail, and their employees, from harm. Project initiatives include installing 12,000 new high security blue collection boxes and replacing 49,000 locks with state-of-the-art electric locks.

USPIS postal inspector Spencer Block says over 10,000 high security collection boxes have been deployed since May. “These make it harder to break into and they’re already being deployed in high security risk areas,” he says.

In the stateline, some frequent blue box users aren’t concerned with the findings. Others choose to remain on alert, just in case a theft occurs.

“I am concerned about it, but they seem to be great when I come to the post office,” Daniela Delgado, a vigilant citizen says. “They’re absolutely amazing with us. Bringing it inside up to the counter, they always have bins there so it’s safer.”

USPIS says its completely safe to continue using blue collection boxes for your outgoing mail. But they suggest paying attention to mail carrier pick up schedule. If the time to pick up has passed for the day, they suggest taking your mail directly into the post office or waiting until the next pick-up time approaches. In the event your mail is stolen, USPIS asks that it be reported right away.

“Don’t leave mail sitting in your mailbox for mail thieves to come by and grab. Check your mail each night,” Block says. “Timely victim reporting is really important so that the sooner the mail is stolen the sooner, the sooner we can investigate and try and figure out who did and deliver justice to victims.”

In addition to collection box thefts, across the US there has been a reported 305 incidents of letter carrier robberies. As of August, this year, those who provide information on attacks could be rewarded up to $150,000.

For more information on mail robberies, visit the United States Postal Inspection Services website here.