HELENA –The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for the U.S. Postal Service as many rush to mail holiday cards and packages to friends and family. Unfortunately, it’s also a particularly busy time for thieves. The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office is reporting an increase in the number of calls related to mail theft over the past few weeks.
“We see an influx of people sending gifts to family and friends. They’ll send gift cards, checks, money through the mail…this time of the year,” Sergeant Robert Kinyon with the sheriff’s office, said.
Those gifts are easy targets for thieves, and Kinyon said mail and packages can be stolen at any time of day.
“It will occur in the daytime when they’re delivering packages or at night time if somebody forgets to get their mail,” Kinyon said.
There’s a few actions authorities recommend to avoid getting taken advantage of.
Kinyon said getting a P.O. box specifically for the holidays can ensure your packages and cards remain safe. The post office can also hold your mail for you, or you can consider purchasing a locking mail box.
“That seems to deter a lot of people from going and taking the mail,” Kinyon said.
In Lewis and Clark County, Kinyon said most of the thefts have been happening to people who don’t have a lock on their box.
Finally, if you think you’ve been a victim you can contact your local authorities.
“It helps us to be able to track the areas where this is occurring so we can put extra patrols in that area,” Kinyson said.
Law enforcement also says to be vigilant and report suspicious behavior in your neighborhood.