Mail theft occurs when someone steals mail that is not their own. The United States Postal Service handles about 668 million pieces of mail each day. Most of this arrives intact, but some is stolen before it can be delivered. The U.S. Postal Inspectors, who investigate mail thefts, arrested over 6,000 theft suspects last year alone. Also, some areas of the country, such as areas in California and Texas, are prone to volume mail thefts.
Thieves steal mail because they want the checks, money orders, credit card applications, and bank statements inside. They may steal from:
The United States Postal Service recommends making it harder for thieves to steal your mail by:
If you witness mail theft, call the police immediately and contact your nearest Postal Inspector. Also, if you believe your mail was stolen, report it immediately to your local postmaster or Postal Inspector (this will require you to fill out a formal complaint).
Rural area mailboxes are more vulnerable to vandalism than city residential mailboxes. This is because they are usually isolated, located on public roads, and often not visible to the homeowners from the house. Mailboxes are considered to be federal property and under federal jurisdiction. It is a crime to vandalize mailboxes and violators may be fined up to $250,000 or receive a term of imprisonment up to three years.
A lawyer may be able to help inform you of the various laws surrounding mail theft. If you follow the above tips, mail theft should not be a problem to the majority of households.
Last Modified: 09-04-2014 12:22 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.