Mail thieves on the move during tax season

Postal officials offers tips to prevent ID theft

SAN ANTONIO – It's tax season and before you think about getting a refund, you should think about protecting your personal information.

U.S. Postal Inspector Michael Martinez-Partida said recently there has been cluster mailbox break-ins around the city.

"We have received complaints regarding mail theft of cluster boxes in the 78244 area and in other areas around the city," Martinez-Partida said.

He said the increase in mailbox break-ins and vandalism started in January.

"This time of the year, we have a bunch of information related with tax information going through the postal service and the mail flow, so this becomes a target for anyone looking to commit identity theft," Martinez-Partida said.

Cluster boxes that are opened only with a key are more secure than a traditional mailbox, but they're still a big target, he said.

"Cluster boxes have the little lock there, but they're not impenetrable," Martinez-Partida said. "If somebody is going to bring heavy duty tools, they're going to be able to break into them, which is why we recommend the public to pick up their mail as soon as possible."

If you can't get to your mail as soon as it's delivered, Martinez-Partida said try getting a neighbor to pick it up and think about getting your packages sent to work.

Victims of mail theft are asked to call 1-877-876-2455.

For any information that leads to an arrest and conviction of an individual who commits mail theft, you could get a reward of up to $10,000.

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