Bills, credit cards and medical records are all personal information that come in the mail. A quiet La Quinta community woke up Monday morning to find six mailboxes had been vandalized.
“That’s really uncomfortable,” said resident Kristen McLaughlin. “I mean I’m just really surprised with the mailboxes.”
After a strong of recent break-ins in the neighborhood, McLaughlin was shocked to hear thieves targeted neighbors mailboxes.
“That’s personal information they’re also getting you now anything with social security, your account numbers, and that can do a lot of damage,” she said.
All of the mailboxes the thieves vandalized were the slots for outgoing mail.
Neighborhood resident John Evans says he’s positive it’s not the only neighborhood that’s had mail stolen.
“I think this is probably something that’s going on across neighborhoods in the Coachella Valley as well as across the state,” said Evans.
He’s right. According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, mail theft occurs across the Coachella Valley. There are some things you can do to make sure your mail is safe:
-Use the letter slots inside your post office for your mail.
-Pick up your mail right after delivery and don’t leave it in the mailbox overnight.
-If you’re expecting something and it doesn’t come in the mail, contact the issuing agency immediately.
-Don’t send cash in the mail.
-Notify your post office if you plan to be out of town.
Mail theft is a federal crime and residents of the La Quinta neighborhood tell us they want whoever stole their mail caught.
“What are we going to do as far as our next step to try to catch these days? I’m not sure but we’re certainly discussing it right now,” concluded Evans.
If your mail is stolen, contact your postal inspector immediately or click here. You can also set up fraud alerts and a security freeze if you feel your financial information may be at risk.