Mail thieves target cluster mailboxes

Postal inspector offers tips to protect mail

SAN ANTONIO – Tax season is over, but mail theft in San Antonio continues to be a problem, postal officials said.

Michael Martinez-Partida of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said it appears that thieves are targeting cluster or community mailboxes.

"(Because) it does have a little lock doesn't mean it's impenetrable," he said. "If somebody wants to break in, and they have enough tools and enough time, they will get in."

Martinez said residents should check their mail daily.

He said residents with regular mailboxes should avoid raising its red flag to let carriers know that there is outgoing mail in the box. The flag is also an opportunity for thieves. Martinez said residents should instead drop off mail at a collection box or at the post office.

Mail theft doesn't appear to be isolated to a particular area of the city, Martinez said.

"It seems to be widespread," he said.

Mail theft is a federal crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

To report mail theft, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.

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