Thieves steal thousands of dollars targeting mailboxes across Nashville


Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 5:59 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Officials said thieves have been targeting mailboxes across Nashville and have taken thousands of dollars from people in the Crieve Hall neighborhood.

The United States Postal Inspection Service has been getting reports every single day about stolen mail, including checks, birthday cards and charity donations. Postal Inspector Nathaniel Sims said mail theft is a serious felony that is punishable with up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“Postal Inspectors consistently follow up on mail theft reports across Middle Tennessee, and our goal is to arrest and prosecute individuals responsible for thefts of mail,” Sims said.

Thomas Swinney is a victim of mail theft and said someone took more than $4,000 of checks from his mailbox last year that was supposed to go to his credit card company. He is concerned this is happening again in his area along Trousdale Drive and could hurt his neighbors.

“It was really traumatic because you are out $4,000 for a while,” Swinney said. “You planned not to have any more interest on that credit card. It wasn’t like a burglar in the middle of the night, but it’s still upsetting.”

This is a problem across Nashville with criminals able to quickly pull up to mailboxes along the curb and then drive away.

The big blue mailboxes at the Post Office are also targets for criminals, Sims said, with thieves pulling letters out searching for valuable things.

Sims said the best thing to protect your mail is to hand an outgoing letter directly to your mailman or drop it off inside the Post Office lobby.

It’s also best to not let mail sit in your mailbox, Sims said. You can significantly reduce the chance of being victimized by simply removing your mail from your mailbox every day. It’s also best to contact the issuing agency if you don’t receive a check or other valuable item you are expecting to arrive in the mail.

Swinney said he is no longer putting outgoing mail in his mailbox. While the alternative of driving to the post office is very inconvenient, he said it’s better than becoming a thieves’ next victim.

If you see someone suspicious lurking near a mailbox or see someone steal mail, call the police immediately, then report it to Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455. You can also submit a complaint online at www.uspis.gov.

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