The holiday season is in full swing and Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials are offering their advice on how to keep mail and packages out of the hands of would-be thieves.
Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking Santa Clarita news alerts delivered right to your inbox.
Mail theft is a common occurrence no matter what time of the year, however, the holiday season usually yields a spike in this type of theft, said Shirley Miller, public information officer for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station.
Identity theft and mail theft are closely related. Thieves could be getting away with personal information from documents within a person’s mail that could be used to steal a person’s identity.
“Check your mail daily and don’t let it sit over night,” Miller said.
Miller also said that if you have to mail out a check, you should do so at the post office and not let the check sit in your mailbox.
“There is a special method mail thieves use to wash checks,” Miller said. “They can then change the names of the recipient and the amount that the check is worth.”
If one must use their personal mailbox to send a check, use a security pen, which uses special ink that makes it much more difficult for thieves to wash it out.
The frequency of mail theft this year has been average and no area is more susceptible than others.
Reports of mail theft have come out of Valencia, Canyon Country and Saugus, said Miller.
Related story: Post Office Offers Reward For Mail Theft Information
“(Thieves) see the delivery trucks, watch where the packages are dropped off and then steal the package,” Miller said.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department takes mail theft seriously and have made arrests in the past, Miller said. Cases from a few months ago are currently being investigated as well.
Anyone expecting a package should also take it upon themselves to have an idea of when the package will be arriving and check the status of a delivery via the tracking information.
One of the most basic tips that Miller offered was to simply be vigilant in your neighborhood and maintain a neighborhood watch system.
“There was a case where a neighbor offered information about the suspected thief and it led to an arrest. That’s why it’s so important to have a good neighborly support system,” Miller said. “In the past, this type of community involvement has helped us solve crimes.”
This year, FedEx predicts it will move a record-breaking 317 million shipments globally between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, according to Rae Lyn Rushing, a communications specialist with FedEx Global Media.
“This forecast marks a 12.4 percent increase in year-over-year seasonal volume,” Rushing said.
The season, which includes one more day than last year, is expected to be bolstered by three volume spikes, including CyberMonday and the first two Mondays in December, in which FedEx expects to move more than double the average daily volume, according to Rushing.
One of the tips FedEx offers to keep your packages from falling into the wrong hands is to consider an alternate destination.
Use your work address or the address of a family member, friend or neighbor who is home during the day to accept deliveries.
Most deliveries don’t require a signature, but if one is receiving something of high value, a signature can be required for packages to be released.
You can also leave instructions for drivers to ring the doorbell or knock on your door when a package is being delivered.
Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.