Mail thieves target Oakdale over Thanksgiving holiday

Numerous residents in Oakdale were victims of mail theft over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to a Crime Alert issued by the police department Wednesday.

Community Affairs Officer Michelle Stark said police dispatchers started receiving calls about mail theft or mail tampering in various locations of the city last Friday.

Stark said reports included thefts of outgoing mail and delivered mail residents hadn't picked up yet from their mailbox.

Some residents reported they left mail out at night for the postal service to pick up the next day and then found it had been stolen, she said.

The police department recommends leaving mail for pick-up for as little time as possible before the postal service arrives, or using a blue United States Postal Service box to send letters and bills.

Stark said the Thanksgiving weekend may have been targeted because residents were out of town or did not pick up their mail immediately after delivery resumed.

The police department also recommends the following tips to avoid mail theft:

• Use a locked mailbox for deliveries, as long as the mail slot is large enough and safe enough for letter carriers to insert mail. The local post office has recommendations of what type of boxes to use.

• Residents with a "traditional" mailbox that does not lock should not leave outgoing mail in it.

• Notify the post office if a mailbox is full or overflowing.

• Consider renting a post office box for a small fee and having mail delivered there.

• Have any mailed checks directly deposited into a bank account.

• Notify the post office when you will be on vacation to stop delivery, or have a trusted friend or neighbor pick up mail promptly.

Stark added that residents should be aware of activities on their street, especially near mailboxes or letter carriers delivering mail, and report anything that is suspicious to the police department by calling 911.

The police department does not have any suspects in the recent thefts at this time, she said.

Katy Zillmer can be reached at kzillmer@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7822.