With mail & package theft on rise, Des Moines Police Department has some tips


The Des Moines Police Department is reporting that they’ve seen a huge increase – 54 percent – in reported mail thefts in 2016 over 2015, and they’ve got some tips to help residents.

“We believe at least part of the increase can be attributed to increased reporting,” Sgt. Doug Jenkins told The Waterland Blog. “Mail is an easy target for criminals who are looking for gift cards, cash or checks, especially around the holidays.”

Police add that with all the credit card companies continually sending out offers to sign up for their cards, it is easy for identity thieves to make money using these offers stolen from your mailbox.

Some of the basic tips include:

  • Check your mailbox every day and try not to leave mail in your box overnight.
  • If you are going to be out of town have the post office hold your mail delivery.
  • Never send cash, gift cards or even checks by mail.
  • Never put outgoing mail in your mail box. Putting the red flag up on your mail box is just that, a red flag that alerts criminals of a potential payday.
  • If you have out-going mail, especially with cash, gift cards or checks we strongly encourage you to take it inside the post office rather than using one of the blue mail drop boxes.
  • Use a locking mail box if possible or consider having your mail delivered to a post office box.
  • Not having packages delivered to your home if someone isn’t there to pick them up immediately (try and schedule package deliveries when you know someone will be home)
  • Ask your employer if you can have packages delivered to you at work
  • Check with a family member that doesn’t live with you to see if they will be home and have the package delivered there
  • Talk to your neighbors and see if they will be home and have the package delivered to a trusted neighbor
  • If you use Amazon, they have Amazon lockers at selected Safeway stores (both Des Moines Safeway stores have Amazon lockers – consider having your packages delivered to an Amazon locker)

Here’s more from our local police:

The Des Moines Police Department recommends that you check your mail box every day and try not to leave mail in your box overnight. If you are going to be out of town have the post office hold your mail delivery. Never send cash, gift cards or even checks by mail. Never put outgoing mail in your mail box. Putting the red flag up on your mail box is just that, a red flag that alerts criminals of a potential payday. If you have out-going mail, especially with cash, gift cards or checks we strongly encourage you to take it inside the post office rather than using one of the blue mail drop boxes. Use a locking mail box if possible or consider having your mail delivered to a post office box. We realize locking mail boxes can be defeated, a post office box requires a fee and both can be inconvenient.

The Des Moines Police Department does not specifically track package thefts. This time of year there is always an increase in package thefts across the country. While we realize it may not be convenient, we recommend not having packages delivered to your home if someone isn’t there to pick them up immediately. Try and schedule package deliveries when you know someone will be home. Ask your employer if you can have packages delivered to you at work. Check with a family member that doesn’t live with you to see if they will be home and have the package delivered there. Talk to your neighbors and see if they will be home and have the package delivered to a trusted neighbor. If you use Amazon, they have Amazon lockers at selected Safeway stores. Both Des Moines Safeway stores have Amazon lockers. Consider having your packages delivered to an Amazon locker.

Above all, we all need to look out for each other. Keep an eye on your neighbors and your neighborhood. Watch for people hanging around mail boxes or following delivery trucks. You are the best eyes and ears for your neighborhood because you know who belongs there and what is normal and what is out of the ordinary.If you see something unusual or out of the ordinary, call 911. Remember, we want to prevent crime by removing the opportunity for the criminal to commit the crime in the first place.


Comments

One Response to “With mail & package theft on rise, Des Moines Police Department has some tips”
  1. RedondoRick says:

    “Mail Theft”

    Just today (1/4) and again tonight, there have been mail theft here in Des Moines. Earlier today, a man was seen driving around the neighborhood in a white BMW on 16th Ave S. & 225th. He took off when he realized he was being watched. Tonight’s incident was called in to the police department while being watched by the caller. Two women in a black car stealing mail. Its to early (11pm) to know if the police made contact with these women. This latest mail theft was on 222nd street.

    Even with the holidays being over, there continues to be a rash of mail theft in the Des Moines, Woodmont, Redondo Beach areas. It has been a busy last few months here in Des Moines. Don’t leave your mail out overnight. And try to pick it up as soon as you can. Read the article above to get more do’s and don’ts.

    Report all crime to your local Police Department…

    Rate: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Share Your Opinion

By participating in our online comment system, you are agreeing to abide by the terms of our comment policy.

...and oh, if you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!