BERLIN--Authorities are investigating claims that at least two suspects stole mail from the mailboxes of several homes in an upscale neighborhood in Berlin.
A video has surfaced on YouTube showing a white Chrysler 300 pull up to a mailbox on Linden Road in Berlin, followed by the passenger in the back rolling down the window and opening the box before speeding off.
People living on Linden Drive and Summit Wood Drive believe several houses in the neighborhood were hit by the same suspects last Friday.
Doug Sanders says his mail was stolen from his mailbox at his Summit Wood Drive home on Friday. His mail, which included an overnight package and check issued to him, never showed up in his mailbox even though a post office GPS tracker confirmed his mail had been delivered at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
"There was no mail, no overnight package, no regular email, usually everyone gets junk mail," Sanders
Fox CT spoke to yet another neighbor who said the same thing happened to him.
"It's the only time I've experienced it. Who'd want to take someone's mail? That's my reaction to this," said William Barron
Barron, who lives across the street from Sanders, said his Friday delivery of mail was discovered in a wet pile on the Linden Drive cul-de-sac.
Doug Sanders said the neighbor who found the discarded mail knocked on his door on Saturday to tell him some of his mail and five other residents' letters were discovered .
Sanders says his overnight package was discovered torn open and the check issued to him was missing. He believes the suspects stole mail from homeowners on Linden Drive and Summit Wood Drive before throwing out some of the mail onto the road.
"They clearly went up our street, took the mail, went to the cul-de-sac on Linden, probably sorted through it, threw out what they didn't want and kept what they wanted," Sanders said.
While billions of pieces of mail are processed each year, the United States Postal Inspection Service said "mail is still one of the safest ways to transmit personal information."
However, officials with the United States Postal Inspection Service said that stealing mail is a federal offense and people convicted of the crime face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
To prevent mail theft, use the following tips from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service:
- If a mail receptacle has a locking device, make sure it works. Apartment boxes should be maintained by the landlord.
- If you’re expecting a check or credit card but are unable to be home for delivery, ask a trusted friend get the mail, or better yet, have the mail placed on hold if you’re away.
- Report suspicious activity to local police or Postal Inspectors. This would include someone following a carrier, attempting to break into a postal vehicle, or tampering with mail.
- Report non-receipt of valuable mail as soon as possible by calling banks, credit card issuers, and Postal Inspectors.
- Use letter slots at the Post Office to mail letters or give them to your carrier.
- Consider having blank checks mailed to a bank for pick up.