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March 7, 2017 > Mail theft tips from Fremont Police

Mail theft tips from Fremont Police

Submitted By Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD

Over the last few weeks, the Fremont Police Department has received several reports of mail theft in different neighborhoods throughout the city. Most commonly, the incidents are occurring during the night; however, FPD has also received reports of the mail carriers being followed by suspects. If you see suspicious activity, you are encouraged to call the Police DepartmentÕs non-emergency number (510)-790-6800, extension 3 right away.

Mail theft is a crime of opportunity. Promptly installing a locking mailbox, retrieving incoming mail, and taking outgoing mail to a local post office are the best methods of protection. Below are some additional tips we think will help keep your deliveries safe.

Protect incoming mail and packages:
¥ Promptly retrieve your mail. The United States Postal Inspection Service strongly recommends that you pick up mail from your mailbox as soon as possible after delivery, especially if you are expecting to receive a check or merchandise. Do not leave your mail unattended overnight.
¥ Install a locking mailbox to prevent mail theft. Mailboxes with a locking device are much less susceptible than those that are unsecured.
¥ The U.S. Postal Service can hold your mail at no charge if youÕll be traveling.
¥ Use your workplace as the shipping address or ship to a location where someone is always home.
¥ Track your shipments by phone or online so that you know what day they should arrive.
¥ If you canÕt pick up your mail or have a package scheduled for delivery, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick it up for you.
¥ Keep an eye on your neighborhood and report suspicious persons and vehicles sitting or cruising the area.
¥ Request a signature delivery option if available, or request the shipment be held at the shipping facility.
¥ Check with ÒmailboxÓ businesses in Fremont and see if they will accept shipment of your item for a fee.
¥ Some online retailers offer a locker service. Packages are delivered to a location where lockers have been securely installed and you are given a code to retrieve it.
¥ If you do not receive your shipment on time, check with the company of origin and confirm the delivery.
¥ If your item was delivered and you did not receive it, then report the theft or loss to the original company, the shipping company, and the Fremont Police Department.
¥ Install a doorbell or front porch video camera that operates on motion to alert you of deliveries and visitors.

Protect outgoing mail and packages:
¥ Do not leave outgoing mail with checks or money orders in your personal mailbox for pick up by the mail carrier. Take your mail to a postal collection box.
¥ Further protect yourself by hand delivering your mail to a post office. If you donÕt have the option to take your mail to a postal collection box and you have to leave outgoing mail in your mailbox, please donÕt raise the flag.
¥ Do not leave packages on your front porch for pick up by private carriers.
¥ Using commercial companies does not necessarily mean your packages will be safer. Often when drivers deliver packages, they leave them sitting on the front porch. Thieves will drive around neighborhoods looking for boxes on porches to steal.
¥ If you are sending a package, let the person you are sending it to know that it is coming and when to expect it to arrive so they can make arrangements for pickup.
¥ Insure any packages you are sending for the replacement cost of the items shipped. Most carriers and the United States Postal Service offer insurance.

How to report a package theft:
¥ To report an in-progress crime, dial 911.
¥ To report a package theft when you have suspect information (including a photo or video surveillance), please call 510-790-6800 X 3.
¥ To report a theft where there is no suspect information or evidence, please utilize the Fremont Police Department website at www.fremontpolice.org to file your report.

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