VICTOR VALEY, Calif. (VVNG) Police say mailbox break-ins are on the rise across the Victor Valley.
“As we find ourselves in the middle of the gift giving season we would like to remind the community that historically, this is the prime time for mail theft and this year has proven to be no different. There has been a significant increase in reported mail thefts so far in the 2016 holiday season, in comparison to the 2015 holiday season,” the Victorville Police Department stated.
Members of our Victor Valley News group on Facebook, which has over 84k members, have posted pictures of community cluster mailboxes not only broken into but completely ripped out of the ground.
“Sometime between yesterday and today the Community Mailbox was stolen! I’ve heard of people opening them up and stealing the mail, but they took the whole mailbox. Maybe like 20+ house mails. This is in Victorville,” said Gaby Yepez, a group member when she noticed the mailbox was unbolted and gone.
The department says that group mailboxes have become a “hot target” since the criminal can tackle a larger quantity than individual boxes.
Aside from finding the obvious checks, gift cards, and packages delivered, the thieves are also after bank account and credit card statements.
Credit card and banks issuers send statements which may have the complete account number listed. Statements possess a significant amount of sensitive information, from the balance in the accounts, pay frequency, and travel frequency. The crook just makes a simple call or online search to locate a bank routing number and can easily create a fraudulent check or transact online.
“The thieves know that this is the perfect time to find checks, gift cards, and packages being delivered and sent out and they are taking advantage of it,” Victorville Police Department said.
Breanna Tarvin’s wish may be a little out there, but she still has faith in the criminals, ” I hope these thieves do a good thing for once and pay a bill.”
The Victorville Police Department would like to remind you to check your mail daily, as most mail thefts occur in the overnight hours. To further decrease your chances of becoming a victim, we offer the following recommendations:
• Utilize a post office box to receive your mail.
• Deliver your outgoing mail to the post office instead of leaving it in your mailbox for pickup.
• Have reoccurring payments deposited directly to your bank account, when possible.
• When family or friends send checks, gift cards, or packages, request that they send them via a delivery service where a signature is required upon receipt, avoiding these items being left at your home when you are away.
• If you are going to be away from home, ask the post office to hold your mail for pickup when you return.
If you feel you have been a victim of mail theft, please report it as soon as possible by calling the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s non-emergency dispatch line at (760) 956-5001.