Deputies: recent increase in mail theft in Kootenai Co. - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Deputies: recent increase in mail theft in Kootenai Co.

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HARRISON, Idaho -

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is investigating several reports of mail theft and damage to mailboxes in the Harrison area. Over the past two days, the Sheriff’s Office has responded to several reports of mail theft and damaged mailboxes around the rural areas surrounding Harrison, Idaho.

Of the ten victims that have filed reports, some have had their locked mailboxes pried open with nothing stolen while others have reported the theft of items from their mailboxes.

There are currently no suspects in the crimes and it appears that the suspect(s) are working in the area during the daytime hours.

There are a couple of ways to help stop mail theft.

The first is to remove all obstacles that block you from seeing your mailbox. This way you can see every person that comes up.

Next you should get rid of all your paper and mail based banking and credit transactions. Choose the online option and you will not only save trees but possibly your good name. If there is no sensitive information in your mailbox then an identity thief can't steal something he could use.

Also it is a good idea to change your utility bills to paperless if your utility allows this. Often utility bills are one of the things needed to show proof of residence to start a new account.

Next step in preventing mail theft is to make sure your mailbox closes tightly. Mail theft is less likely if thieves can't see it. Many cheap mailboxes will blow open with a strong storm and allow your mail to scatter all over the neighborhood. Buy the sturdiest model available and attach it to a very strong post.

Another effective method to help stop mail theft is to install a mailbox chime or mailbox alarm. These will beep on a monitor inside the house each time the mailman comes or someone else opens your mailbox. If you are quick you can get a good look at the thief or just know when your mail arrives so that it won't linger in the mailbox.

Make it a habit to pick up your mail each time you come home or when you hear the mailbox chime go off. A mail chime or mail alarm is a very good deterrent to stop mail theft.

Another step in preventing mail theft is to have your neighbors, ones that your trust, remove your mail when you are gone for a couple of days or alert the post office. The post office can have your mail kept at the main office until your return from your trip.

Mail theft can be prevented. Don't let an identity thief have all that he needs to ruin your life by allowing him to steal your mail.
If you suspect your mail has been stolen monitor your credit report and see if anyone has opened up any accounts in your name. Switch to a post office box for important mail if you suspect someone is stealing your mail.

If anyone suspects their mail is has been stolen in the past few days in that area, the Sheriff’s Office would like to know about it. Additionally, if anyone may have seen any suspicious individuals or vehicles in the area, they are asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office.

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