LACEY, Wash. - Two thieves were caught on camera in Thurston County stealing from mailboxes in the middle of the night.
Lacey police said the crime is on the rise. People are breaking into mailboxes and searching for cash, credit cards and checks.
“Through the month of December we had nine reported community mailbox thefts, like this, and numerous other single mailbox thefts,” said Lacey police officer Alex Ficek.
The crimes happened multiple times in the Tanglewilde neighborhood, which is where Roger Houglin lives. He said it’s gotten so bad his neighbors installed special mailboxes with locks.
“I think, when you’re talking about the Christmas season, Christmas cards with presents, or, you know, gift cards, that sort of thing, I’d be kind of worried about that,” he said.
Neighbors said the thieves steal the mail, go through it and then dump whatever they don’t want. KIRO 7 found evidence of trashed mail on Thunderbird Street SE, where people’s bills, credit card statements and more were thrown on the ground.
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Police said there are steps homeowners can take to protect their mail.
“The biggest thing they can do is check their mailbox daily. Also, if you plan on being out of town, make sure you contact the United States Postal Service and have them hold your mail until you’re back in town,” said Ficek.
He said even locked community boxes aren’t always safe.
“(Thieves are) using various tools to gain access to the inside of the mailboxes. Once they gain access to the inside, they can open any mailbox they want to,” said Ficek.
If you find mail, police said to either turn it in to your local police department or take it to the post office.
If your mail is stolen or you see someone you believe is stealing mail, report the incident to your local police department.
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