6 Practical Ways to Prevent Mail Theft
Stolen mail is a problem that has many more serious consequences for homeowners than just missed due dates and lost love letters. In fact, mail theft is the new break-and-enter problem that continues to cause worry in different neighborhoods in Australia and other parts of the world.
Victims of mail theft not only lose their daily correspondences but may also be at risk of losing their identity as well, especially if the thieves get their hands on passports, tax receipts, and other identifying documents. To avoid becoming part of the growing statistics in identity theft, it is important that you know how to prevent your mail from being stolen and what you need to do if the unfortunate event happens to you.
How to Prevent Your Mail from being Stolen
Preventing mail theft entails proactivity. If you suspect that it is already happening, following the tips below will help reduce opportunities for thieves to target your mail:
Maintain a Secure Letterbox
One main reason why mail theft is prevalent in a neighborhood is that homeowners aren’t paying close attention to the condition of their letterboxes. To avoid becoming a victim, you should keep yours in tip-top shape all the time. Checking it every single day is also a great way to thwart mail thieves as it would make it more difficult for them to commit the felony.
Choose a Sturdy Letterbox
Since securing your letterbox is the key to keeping your correspondence safe, it is imperative that you choose a durable one. While those made from wood may seem more appealing, metal letterboxes are much sturdier and, thus, can protect your mail better. Choosing this kind of letterbox will also help you prevent vandalism as it would be more difficult to knock down.
Don’t Allow Your Mail to Pile Up
An overflowing mail in your letterbox or on the porch is a “come get me” signal for burglars who may target not just your letters but also your house. Because of this, it is important that you plan the security of your correspondence before your vacation by asking a neighbor or a relative to pick up your mail while you’re away. If you’re not expecting anything important from the post office, you can put your subscriptions on hold until you return or have it redirected to the place you’re staying at temporarily.
Know the Mailman’s Schedule
Knowing the postman’s mail delivery and pickup schedule is another way you can prevent mail theft. Once you have this information, you should make sure that you take the contents of your letterbox as it arrives – or, at least, don’t leave anything sitting in your letterbox overnight.
When you have outgoing mail, forgo the use of your letterbox flag, if you have one, as it not only signals the postman but the mail thieves as well. Just leave it tucked well in the letterbox since the postman will be able to see it when he delivers your incoming mail. If it’s something urgent, bring it to the post office yourself to make sure it gets in the right pair of hands.
Consider Moving Your Letterbox
Sometimes, the position of your letterbox is also a factor in mail theft. If you’re not sure whether your correspondences are safe near the street, consider moving it closer to your house and protected by your fences. This will make stealing your mail more challenging, if not impossible, without entering your front gate or crossing your fence.
Keep an “Eye” on Your Property
Installing security cameras is also a great way to prevent mail theft as they allow homeowners to keep an eye on their property no matter where they are. If you already have active ones, make sure to direct at least one of them towards your letterbox. This will let you see what happens to your mail even if you’re not at home all the time.
Aside from staying tuned in to the status of your letters and subscriptions, having a security camera visible from the streets can also prevent people from trying anything illegal to your property. After all, who would dare try to steal letters if they will be caught on camera doing so?
What to Do When Your Mail is Stolen
If you’ve been a victim of mail theft, you should report it to the authorities. While it may be quite a hassle, reporting such instances will help law enforcement take necessary actions to prevent it from happening again.
Reporting the issue to your local post office will also help as it would allow them to determine if it’s a prevalent issue in the neighborhood or an isolated incident. Plus, thieves tend to lie low from doing the same thing again if they know you filed a complaint about it.
“Prevention is better than cure” – cliched as it may be, this statement still applies to a lot of things, mail theft included. Make sure you take the precautions mentioned in this article to avoid becoming a victim of this felony and report any occurrences immediately after they happen.
Beau Flavell has been a Product & Account Manager for Sandleford Holdings since July 2017. He completed his VCE at Brighton Grammar School and also holds an A-Class Electrician License. Beau has been working on developing a new range of innovative letterboxes and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.