GREENWICH, Conn. -- A widespread and ongoing series of mail thefts in the backcountry section of Greenwich is under investigation by the Greenwich Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, police said in a statement.
As of Jan. 1, 30 cases of mail theft had been reported to the two agencies. Many of the thefts had occurred since August, but similar mail thefts have been reported in years past, police said.
Often these thefts are a run-up to the holiday season when residents leave cash tips for their mail carriers or send cash, checks or valuables to relatives through the U.S. mail. This series of thefts may continue through tax season, when U.S. Treasury checks and sensitive personal credit information can be acquired by criminals to be used for identity theft.
The mail thief or thieves exploit the relatively remote nature of backcountry neighborhoods and generally easy access to and from the Merritt Parkway. Roadside mailboxes and especially multiple stand-alone units at the end of the road are particularly attractive to criminals.
Police noted that both incoming and outgoing mail has been reported stolen and checks are the preferred target of these thefts. Checks stolen from Greenwich residents have been cashed as far away as Texas.
To combat these thefts, protect assets and foil identity thieves, residents are encouraged to acquire lockable mailbox inserts. These inserts are U.S. Post Office approved and can be bolted into your existing mailbox, allowing for the secure delivery of mail without changing the appearance of your mailbox. They can be found at a reasonable price through several manufacturers and distributors on the internet or at your local hardware store.
Residents are urged to utilize blue U.S. Post Office collection boxes or a U.S. Post Office facility for their outgoing mail. Special care should be taken with checks, valuables and documents that contain credit information.
Residents wishing to report mail theft may contact the U.S. Postal Inspector's Office at 860-524-6030. Crimes in progress should be immediately reported to the Greenwich Police Department.