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Mail Grinches Hit Tuolumne County

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office reports numerous mail thefts in an attempt to get personal information to use for identity theft and credit fraud.

Sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Andrea Benson indicates, “It is throughout the county, Sonora, Jamestown and Twain Harte. There has been approximately six to seven this month, so far.” Residents have reported finding letters scattered around the mailbox with empty envelops or opened packages left behind. Sgt. Benson adds, “Also, people have noticed they haven’t received packages from family members when they’ve been notified that they have had packages sent to them.”

Report any stolen mail to law enforcement and alert the postal inspector, as well.  Benson notes there is always an uptick in mail thefts during the holidays. The Sheriff’s Department provides these tips to protect mail:

  • If you have outgoing mail, it is best to hand it to the mail carrier or place it in the letter slot at the post office.
  • Always try to pick up your delivered mail promptly or have a trusted neighbor or friend hold it for you, do not leave your items in your mailbox all day or overnight.
  • When ordering new checks have them delivered to your bank for pickup and not to your home.
  • Surveillance Cameras in front of your home are a strong deterrent.
  • Require a recipient signature for delivery of packages or advise you do not wish to have the items left at the door or in the mail box. The mail carrier will hold them at the post office for pick up.
  • Purchase a locking mailbox. This will add an extra measure of security and will make you a less attractive target for the thief.
  • Do not send cash in the mail.
  • If you do not receive a check or other valuable mail you are expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.
  • If you will be out of town or unable to get to your mail, notify the post office so they can hold your items until you return.