TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Mail thefts are on the rise in Shawnee County. Sgt. Todd Stallbaumer with the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office said Friday that residents should take extra steps to help protect their mail from thieves.
· Remember, if you plan on mailing a letter or bill try to use the letter slots at your post office, drop them off in a mail drop box picked up on a regular basis or give them to a letter carrier. Keep in mind that thieves are alerted to your mailbox when the red flag is up. Thieves are looking for bills with credit card numbers or checks to obtain names, account numbers, phone numbers, addresses and social security numbers.
· Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight.
· Don’t send cash and be cautious of checks in the mail.
· Tell your post office when you’ll be out of town. They can hold your mail until you return.
· Consider starting a neighborhood watch program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted friends and neighbors, you can watch each other's mailboxes (as well as homes). For more information about starting a neighborhood watch program in your area, contact the Community Services Division at 251-2265.
· Report any suspicious activity to the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office at 251-2200.
Sgt. Stallbaumer said the increase in thefts is a countywide problem, but on Thursday alone there were 20 cases reported in the northwest part of the county.