USPS cautions against using blue mailboxes during holiday season

Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 7:28 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Drop it off and forget about it.

We’re all guilty of it when putting mail in one of those big blue postal service boxes.

Postal workers are warned, it may not be the safest way to send valuables this holiday season.

USPS reported an increase in thefts from these boxes during the holiday season.

The US Postal Inspection Service said a more secure option is to hand it off directly to your postal carrier or take your mail directly to the post office.

But if that’s not an option, and you have to use the blue mailboxes, USPS officials say you should check the time of the last collection for the day on the blue box.

Then make sure you’re putting your mail in the box before that time to prevent letters from sitting overnight and being stolen.

“The consequences for mail theft can be up to five years in federal prison and a $250,00 fine for your first offense,” said United States Postal Inspector, Paul Shade.

Dunwoody resident Kathy Brandt says she makes it a habit to avoid using the blue mailboxes.

“I’ve parked my car, I’ve gone inside, I’ve dropped my cards inside and that’s what I’ve always done.”

Unfortunately, mail theft from blue mailboxes has been a persistent problem.

From reports of checks being stolen from blue mailboxes in Sandy Springs to multiple reports of mail theft in Dunwoody.

Sergeant Michael Cheek, Public Information Officer for the Dunwoody Police Department provided this statement to Atlanta News First:

The majority of those have occurred at the blue boxes outside the Dunwoody Post Office on Dunwoody Village Pkwy. A few thefts have occurred at other locations. We are not sure how the mail is being stolen and there are no good leads at this time. We encourage people to pay their bills electronically if they have the means to do so. If they are not able to, they should closely monitor their accounts and the status of the payments mailed out.

For any further comment regarding this investigation, please contact the US Postal Inspector. We have been in contact with them and have made them aware of all reports of thefts from those mailboxes.

The US Postal Inspection Service said if you feel you’re a victim of mail theft, report the problem to them online and to your local police department.