Mail thefts rampant in backcountry Greenwich

Widespread mail theft in backcountry has forged an investigatory collaboration between the police department and the postal service.

The two organizations are investigating an ongoing series of mail thefts impacting residents in back country Greenwich. The series is believed to have commenced in August 2013 and roughly 30 cases of mail theft have been reported to date.

Instances of mail theft have occurred in the past and are thought to be associated with the holiday season, when residents often leave cash tips for their mail carriers or mail cash, checks or valuables to relatives. The possibility exists that this series may continue through tax season, during which time U.S. Treasury checks and sensitive personal credit information can be acquired by criminals to be used for identity theft.

Criminals inclined to mail theft exploit the relatively remote nature of back country neighborhoods and their convenient proximity to the Merritt Parkway. Roadside mailboxes and especially multiple stand-alone units at the end of the road are particularly attractive to criminals.

According to the Greenwich Police Department, the investigation has shown that both incoming and outgoing mail has been stolen, with checks as the preferred target.

To combat these thefts, residents can purchase lockable mailbox inserts, which are USPS approved and can be bolted into any existing mailbox. This device secures mail delivery without any need to change mailbox appearance. They can be found through several manufacturers and distributors on the internet or local hardware stores.

Residents are urged to utilize blue U.S. Post Office collection boxes or a US Post Office facility for their outgoing mail. Special care should be taken with checks, valuables and documents that contain credit information.

Residents wishing to report mail theft may contact the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office at 860-524-6030. Crimes in progress should be immediately reported to the Greenwich Police Department.

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