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Help Protect Yourself from Mail Theft
updated: Mar 17, 2017, 4:10 PM

Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

The Santa Barbara Police Department would like to inform its citizens of an increase in mail theft within our city as well as in various counties within California. Offenders are targeting mailboxes to obtain personal information, personal and business checks, and various other details about victims that can be utilized to their advantage. This release is only to make the public aware and to suggest ways to prevent becoming a victim. A list of options and suggestions to better help deter these crimes are as follows:

  • Use a mailbox that can be secured with a key or other locking device which can only be opened by the owner of the mail box.
  • Deposit outgoing mail directly to the post office attendant or other secured depository.
  • Request to pick up checks at your banking establishment rather than receiving them in the mail. 
  • Always Place a vacation hold on all mail when leaving for an extended period of time from your residence even with a locking mailbox. 

By following these simple steps citizens can reduce the risk of becoming a victim, and as always if you suspect you may be the victim of a crime contact your local Law Enforcement agency to report it. 

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 764144 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-17 04:26 PM

also, avoid use of mail drop mail boxes. Thieves will use a device to remove mail from outdoor postal collection boxes, and can similarly access the "keyed" individual mail boxes (thru the top opening where mail is dropped)


 COMMENT 764146P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-17 04:34 PM

PO boxes cost... but the safety is there. $45 for 6 months.


 COMMENT 764178 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-17 06:34 PM

No harm in placing a security camera or two also. But try not to cheap out on low picture quality.


 COMMENT 764224P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-17 10:18 PM

Funny that you mention PO boxes and safety. I agree 100% but there are some businesses that don't want to send mail to a PO box for "security reasons".

Generally when I ask which they consider more secure, a locked container in a Federal government building or a tin can on a stick at curbside, they come around.


 COMMENT 764299P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-18 11:15 AM

The police need to catch a few mail thieves pronto and make a HUGE deal in the media.


 COMMENT 764321 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-18 12:12 PM

It also helps if neighbors watch out for neighbors instead of hiding their heads in the sand and just watching behind the curtain doing nothing! IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING, call for a police unit to patrol if you see someone or something suspicious, you can also call anonymously... It's for everyone's safety. We can all help each other instead of being taken over by these criminal rings, lets take back our town peoples!!!!


 COMMENT 764332P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-18 01:07 PM

I spoke to our mail delivery person who hates mailboxes that lock - difficult to access from what I gather. Does anyone have any actual experience of what constitutes a delivery-friendly locking mailbox?


 COMMENT 764341 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-18 01:41 PM

Post Offices charge different rates for different cities. Has to do with a lot of factors... But, renting a P.O. Box is still a great deal.

I have the "medium" sized box, which holds a ton of mail, and it costs me $130.yr, at the SB Main Office.


 COMMENT 764393P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-18 07:14 PM

332P -- We have a large locked mailbox. All it takes is to slip the mail into a large slot. Our regular mailman can do it, but substitutes sometimes leave the mail dangling out of the slot. An invitation to theft. Frankly, I don't understand, though I have theories.


 COMMENT 764436P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-19 10:01 AM

393P 332P here; thanks for the info...


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