Post office offers tips for safe mail
A rash of mail theft and vandalism prompted the Basalt Post Office to issue a warning to residents.Postal customers should always use proper mail theft prevention steps and report any incidents and suspicious activities immediately.”In the past couple of weeks, we have had several incidents of mail theft/vandalism in our community,” said Postmaster Marian Atkins. “The Postal Service takes the theft or destruction of mail very seriously. Postal inspectors hope to catch those responsible for these criminal acts – and to take appropriate legal action.”Postal customers should use the following mail theft prevention steps: • Pick up your delivered mail from your mailbox as soon as possible.• Do not leave any mail, especially outgoing letters with checks or payments, in your mailbox overnight.• Deposit your outgoing mail in a blue collection box before the last pickup time; or give it directly to your letter carrier. (Pickup times are noted on all collection boxes.) Or, if you can, take your outgoing mail directly to the post office and drop it off there.• Do not drop letters in blue collection boxes at night for pickup the next day, or in an overstuffed box.• Have the post office hold your mail, or have a relative or neighbor retrieve your mail daily if you, or members of your household, will be away.• Arrange for checks mailed to you on a regular basis to be deposited directly into your bank or credit union account. If an expected check or other valuable letter is past due, contact the sending agency immediately.• When you move, fill out a change of address form immediately.• Report suspicious activity or mail theft immediately to your local post office, local law enforcement agency, and to the postal inspectors 24-hour line at (303) 313-5320.Theft of the mail, or any act having to do with the willful or unlawful possession or destruction of mail is a felony, subject to a fine of up to $250,000 and up to five years imprisonment.The Postal Inspection Service will pay a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the prosecution and conviction of mail theft.Report mail theft or any suspicious mail theft activity information to the post office; to local police; and to U.S. Postal Inspectors in Denver at (303) 313-5320.
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