The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department revealed that a citizen found stolen mail, including voter ballots, that was discarded in Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms Wednesday morning.
According to the Sheriff's Department, all the recovered mail was found to have been stolen from a cluster of mailboxes within the 56200 block of Reche Road in Landers.
No arrests have been made but investigators believe the suspect(s) were targeting incoming mail but not voter ballots specifically. Investigators believe the suspect(s) were looking for information to commit identity theft and fraud.
Deputies located discarded mail articles on the 65000 block of Winters Road in Joshua Tree and the 6500 block of Encelia Avenue in Twentynine Palms
The mail has been returned to the postmaster for re-delivery and deputies have contacted all residents affected by this theft.
The case is being forwarded to the United States Postal Inspector for further investigation into the thefts.
As San Bernardino County residents start to receive their voter ballots, the Sheriff's Department is encouraging citizens to monitor their mailbox. Residents are urged to report any suspicious behavior they observe around mailboxes in the Morongo Basin.
The United States Postal Inspectors recommend the following tips to lower the chances that you will become a victim:
- Retrieve your mail as soon as possible after it is delivered. Don't leave your mail unattended for extended periods. Please don't leave it in your mailbox overnight.
- If you cannot regularly retrieve your mail promptly, consider installing a lockable mailbox or obtaining a P.O. Box service from your local post office.
- If you are away from home temporarily, you can notify your post office to hold your mail with the online hold mail service on the US Postal Service website: https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/
- Always deposit your mail in a mail slot at your local post office, or hand it to your letter carrier.
- Monitor your bank account statements regularly and report any charges or checks you did not authorize.
- Monitor your credit report and report any accounts you did not authorize.
- Ask your bank for "secure" checks that can't be altered.
Stay with News Channel 3 for any updates.