Mail Thefts Worry Wichita Residents

By: Alicia Myers Email
By: Alicia Myers Email

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Monday, November 29, 2010

For dozens of years, the U.S. Postal Service has been a safe and easy way to get letters from point a to point b.

While it is still safe, nowadays, using the service also comes with some extra precaution.

Nearly every day, postal carriers make their way through Wichita neighborhoods, delivering bills, magazines, and birthday cards to each mailbox.

Lately, a few homes in a Northeast Wichita neighborhood have had no mail.

"It was removed from a customer's mail box, and it was relocated in another customer's mailbox," said Brenda Bishop, Wichita Postmaster.

According to neighbors, this is not the first time the area has seen mail thefts.

"It's happened before. The last couple of years off and on. Historically, it's been in the summertime. A couple years ago when it happened, particularly in this cul de sac, many of us went to locking mailboxes. You can still receive your mail, but you still have to put your outgoing mail in a vulnerable position," said Teven Wendt, Northeast Wichita resident.

Is there any way to protect your outgoing and incoming mail?

Bishop said yes.

"You can put your mail in your box or on the outside, but the most secure way to mail your letters is to take them to a blue box, or you can take them into a post office. You can hand them to a letter carrier," said Bishop.

When it comes to incoming mail, Bishop urges people to grab it each day, not letting it build-up in the box.

Also, get a mailbox with a secure lid, and keep an eye out for your neighborhood.

If you see anything suspicious, call police.

"There are people who don't care if it's Christmas time or what time of the year it is. If you have something they want, and it's easily acquired, they'll come and get it," said Bishop.

Tampering with mail is a federal offense. If you think your mail has been tampered with, besides police, call your local post office, who will turn the case over to postal inspectors.

If you are going to be gone over the holidays, the best option is to put your mail on hold.

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