“These are things that are passed onto to the customers," said Birch. "The community and you and I are going to be the ones suffering the loss on these thefts.”
Michael Cooper, who lives in a patio home community, has experienced several mailbox thefts in his area. He said, thieves broke into all 96 mailboxes the first time, and two times later, they pried into the various sections of the community mailboxes.
He knows of one homeowner who had checks stolen.
With permission from the U.S. Postal Service, he placed signs alerting the homeowners. He said he's especially concerned because it's tax season; a time when financial information is getting mailed.
“Don't leave your mail in the mailboxes at night or during the early morning or weekends,” said Cooper.
With his 22 years experience in law enforcement, the majority with the U.S. Postal Service, Dave Birch said people steal to get money to buy drugs.
There is a reward of up to $10,000 for information on mail thefts. Anyone with information is advised to call the Postal Inspectors Office at 388-5316 or 88-CRIME.
Anyone who has become a victim of mail theft, or would like to protect themselves from becoming a victim can visit the U.S. Postal Inspectors website at: postalinspectors.uspis.gov