ANCHORAGE, (KTUU) On Wednesday morning Jenee Dolata was returning from dropping her daughter off at school and noticed many mailboxes on Prospect Drive were open-even the locked ones.
“A lot of the mail was littered on the ground,” Dolata said. Many of the mailboxes with locks were damaged by someone who pried them open. “It’s getting more aggressive. I think they’re getting more brave,” Dolata said.
The Postal Inspection Service said it was aware of the problem and is investigating. “It sounds like people on the hillside have listened to some of these tips and have gotten some locking mail boxes. So now the criminals are taking another step,” said Postal Inspector Team Leader Jacob Gholson.
He says mail theft is usually linked to drug users who are looking to steal identities, or cash, to buy drugs. “We have limited resources. Everyone in law enforcement right now has limited resources so we rely heavily on citizens to provide good leads, good tips,” Gholson said.
He recommends forming a neighborhood watch, report license plate numbers and mail theft to police, and postal inspectors, and track important mail. “If you’re expecting a check or if you’re sending checks out and they don’t get there make sure you call the issuing bank. Make sure they know, you think it was stolen through the mail, so they can put a watch on it,” said Gholson. He says the safest bet is to get a post office box.
Doltana says her neighborhood has been hit four times in the last year and her next step is to switch to a post office box, “Ya, we’re nervous. Where does it stop?”
Postal Inspectors can be reached at 877-876-2455 (press 2)