Local police and post office officials are urging residents to take precautions when mailing checks, in the wake of recent thefts from mailboxes in Lower Saucon Township.
In a post on the department’s Crimewatch site Friday, Lower Saucon Township Police said mail was reported stolen from numerous mailboxes that were opened along Mockingbird Hill Road, Nursey Lane, Alpine Drive and Apple Street during the overnight hours of May 13-14.
Some of the mail stolen from the mailboxes was later found on the I-78 westbound ramp from Rt. 412 in Bethlehem, police said.
Police said they have been in contact with the Hellertown Postmaster regarding their investigation into the mail thefts, and that both the department and the postmaster are encouraging residents not to mail checks from their homes. Instead, authorities recommend putting envelopes containing checks in the mailbox inside the Hellertown Post Office.
Anyone with information about the recent thefts is being asked to submit a tip through the Lower Saucon Township Police Department’s Crimewatch Tipline or to contact Cpl. Kyle Haggerty at 610-317-6110.
Reuters reported May 12 that due to an increase in cases involving mail theft nationwide, the United States Postal Service is in the process of installing thousands of new higher-security blue mail collection boxes. The report stated that in the six-month period that ended March 30, there were 25,000 thefts from mail “receptacles” reported to the USPS.
Theft of mail from residential mailboxes and USPS collection boxes is a federal offense punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison, according to 18 U.S. Code Chapter 83.
To prevent the theft of mail and/or packages, the postal service recommends not leaving items inside mailboxes or in doorways for any length of time.