Police give tips on how to avoid mail theft

Published: Jan. 19, 2016 at 11:01 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2016 at 11:01 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Everyone loves getting packages and mail - when it isn't bills - but some folks in Savannah are dealing with a mail thief.

It's a difficult situation, because if you aren't there when the mail is stolen, you really don't know it's gone unless you were expecting something.

"It's a crime that affects your peace of mind, you know, when you can't get mail at your home because someone is stealing it out of your box," said Alderman Tony Thomas.

Alderman Thomas and several of his neighbors fell victim to mail theft last month.

"I saw my mail lying on the ground and also where it had been ripped open," he said.

Thomas says that person took Christmas cards and business checks, amounting to more than $5,000. If you'll remember, last week, Christopher Hodges was arrested for drugs and also for having some 500 pieces of stolen mail and packages inside his car.

Alderman Thomas says he wasn't notified on whether or not Hodges stole his mail, but altogether, it's an inconvenience.

"You have to go down to the post office and file a complaint with the post master; you have to talk to the police and everything," Alderman Thomas said.

We reached out to police for tips to on how to avoid mail theft. First, they say you should contact them as well as the post office. If you're expecting a package, always require a signature for delivery, or have it delivered to your job. You could also let a neighbor know you're expecting a package, so they can look out for it. Last, you can enroll in online billing. That way, you're not getting a lot of bills mailed directly to your house.

In Alderman Thomas's case, he ended up buying a P.O. Box to avoid problems in the future, and to give him some peace of mind.

"I think it's a sad day when mailboxes become subject to thefts as much as they are and as much as it happens," he said.

Hodges allegedly stole mail from areas across Savannah, including Southside Savannah and Berwick. He is facing federal charges in this case.

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