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Have You Heard?: Mail and package theft

Published: Dec. 18, 2014 at 3:52 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2015 at 3:52 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It's exciting to get a package in the mail, but have you heard your house and your delivery could be the perfect target for thieves?

Seal the packages up tight, and if you are expecting a package, you may need to take some extra precautions. Postal inspectors are warning thieves are getting their greedy hands ready to take your packages.

“They are crimes of opportunity, and in some situations we are able to track down the criminal who is doing this,” said postal inspector Mike Romano.

Millions of packages are ship and criminals know someone will let their guard down. It's disappointing for you, but a holiday wish for the thieves. Romano said savvy customers have caught on to the deception and some have taken steps to fight back.

“We have heard cases where people have used tracking devices in their mail,” said Romano. “We've heard of a case where people put cameras out by the mailbox to catch the thieves.”

On its website, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service offers safety tips and ways to report mail theft. Inspectors advise creating a neighborhood watch program to let neighbors know when you're expecting a package.

Another tip is tell the post office when you'll be out of town so they can hold your mail until you return, and seal packages properly and don't give crooks any openings.

“They might disquise themselves as delivering papers or fliers or something like that to your front doorstep,” said Romano. “So if the seams aren't sealed properly, it might give them enough time to reach in the box, get something out, but yet leave the box. Your mail is protected under federal statute, so it's up to five years in prison for a count of mail theft.”

Another great idea is to get signature confirmation, which means if no one is home, carriers won't drop off the package. Do you have a scam we need to hear about? Tweet or Facebook me at WTOC Don Logana, or email us at

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