The Carroll County Sheriff Department said that as of Friday (Dec. 13) there have been 10 reports of mail stolen from mailboxes in Carroll County, a majority of them in Finksburg and Eldersburg.
One of these cases has charges pending, police said, with others still being investigated.
The thefts are generally occurring from mid to late morning, according to police, as the suspects are attempting to steal outgoing mail prior to the arrival of the U.S. Mail carriers.
After finding checks in the outgoing mail, the suspects alter the payee listed and attempt to cash the checks, police said.
Often times, the remainders of the outgoing mail that was stolen is later located on the side of the roadway a short distance from where the theft occurred.
Residents are urged to immediately report any suspicious behavior observed around mailboxes to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, who is working in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Inspectors to investigate these crimes.
The United States Postal Inspectors suggest the following precautions:
- Retrieve your mail as soon as possible after it is delivered. Don’t leave your mail unattended for extended periods. Don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight
- If you cannot regularly retrieve your mail promptly, consider installing a lockable mailbox or obtaining P.O. Box service from your local post office.
- If you will be away from home temporarily, you can notify your post office to hold your mail with the online hold mail service on the U.S. Postal Service website: https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/
- Always deposit your mail in a mail slot at your local post office, or hand it to your letter carrier
- Monitor your bank account statements regularly, and report any charges or checks you did not authorize
- Monitor your credit report and report any accounts you did not authorize
- Ask your bank for “secure” checks that can’t be altered
If you believe you are a victim of mail theft or identity theft, please contact the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office at 410-386-2900, or the Anonymous Tips Hotline at 1-888-399-TIPP (8477).