United State Postal Service warns against using blue boxes during the holidays
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The holidays are right around the corner, and soon, many people will be mailing Christmas gifts. Before you drop an envelope in one of those blue boxes, United States Postal workers want you to keep a few things in mind.
USPS reported an increase in thefts from these boxes during the holiday season. Here are a few precautions to make sure your gifts are delivered.
First, look at the time of the last collection for the day on the front of the blue box. Make sure you are putting your mail in the boxes before that time. You don’t want your letters or packages sitting overnight or over holidays and weekends when thieves could target the boxes.
“One of the best things that you can do is hand it off directly to your postal carrier, obviously, then it’s already in their hands, and it’s into the system,” said United States Postal Inspector Paul Shade. “The other option would be to take it directly into the post office. And obviously, it would have to be during regular business hours, but that’s the most secure way to protect your mail.”
Next, never send cash. If you are expecting something valuable, let the sender know when and if you receive it.
If you would get caught stealing someone’s mail or packages, USPS officials warn that it is a federal offense.
“The consequences for mail theft can be up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for your first offense,” said Shade.
If you are going to be away from home, have the post office hold your mail or have a trusted friend pick it up for you.
“Be sure to watch out in your neighborhoods,” said Shade. “We even encourage people to start up a neighborhood watch if they do not have one. If you see someone that’s wandering around the neighborhood that doesn’t belong, make sure you call the police.”
If you are a victim of mail theft, then you can contact the police department and the United States Postal Inspection Agency.
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