Have you been the victim of mail theft in recent months? NBC ran a story on mail theft in 2020. The Postal Inspection Service data showed that mail theft reports soared by 600% over the past three years, from about 25,000 in 2017 to roughly 177,000 through Aug. 24, 2020.
For most, it's a major invasion of privacy. One High Desert local is fed up with the recurring theft he has been the victim of. Not once, not twice, not three times, but on four separate occasions, Joseph W. Brady has wound up on the receiving end of mail theft. What makes the story even more suspicious is the fact that after the post office issued a new box to Mr. Brady, the crime happened yet again. "I have a feeling that the next time these people come back they might be in for a really big surprise," said Brady in a recent YouTube video. (see below) In the video, Brady notates how he was issued a new PO Box. He then reports how his second PO Box was also breached.
HDdailynews.com wanted to dig deep and pull a sample of reports from local law enforcement, dating back to just December 2020. At the time of our inquiry the Victorville Police Department was able to tell us they had a total of 174 calls taken to report mail theft or attempted mail theft from December 1, 2020 - March 15, 2021.
Over at the Apple Valley Police Department we found out that between December 1, 2020 and March 17, 2021 there were approximately 17 reported cases of mail theft.
And according to the Hesperia Police Department there were a total of 78 federal offense calls for service, which included mail theft, possible mail box vandalism as well as other related federal offenses for the time frame.
When asked if this type of activity is normal or abnormal for the High Desert, local law enforcement told HDdailynews.com that this type of crime has seen a peak within the last 4 years in the area.
United States Postal Inspector, Ricky Vida, spoke to HDdailynews.com about mail theft. We asked him specifically about how common it is for an individual to be issued a new PO Box as a result of mail theft and then someone breaching that second PO Box. Vida, who is an inspector for the Los Angeles Division that oversees the San Bernardino County area told us that in his 16 years of service as a postal inspector that he's never seen it before. Vida also stated that the inspector's office tends to see a peak in mail theft right around tax season and during the roll out of stimulus payments.
So back to Joseph W. Brady, he's offering $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the mail theft criminals who have stolen his mail.
The United States Postal Inspection Service has tips for locals to protect themselves from potential mail theft:
Promptly pickup mail
Try not to leave letters and packages in your mailbox or at your door for any length of time.
Deposit mail close to pickup time
Deposit outgoing mail into USPS® Blue Collection Boxes before the last collection or inside your local Post Office™.
Inquire about overdue mail
If you do not receive a check, credit card, or other valuable mail you’re expecting, contact the sender as soon as possible and inquire about it.
Don't send cash
Be careful about what you send. Don’t risk sending cash in the mail.
Arrange for prompt pickup
If you cannot be home to receive a package, make another arrangement or use the USPS Hold Mail Service.
Use Hold for Pickup
When shipping packages, use the Hold for PickUp option, and the recipients can collect the package at their local Post Office.
Request signature confirmation
When mailing something important, consider requesting Signature Confirmation™ for the intended recipient.
File a change of address
If you move, make sure you file a change of address with the Postal Service and let your financial institutions know as well.
Anyone who believes that are a victim of mail theft are asked to reach out to the United States Postal Inspection Service: 1-877-876-2455