CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A troubling trend across the United States, an increase in thefts from mail drop boxes and letter carrier robberies. Communities say they’re concerned about the security of their documents.

Everyday, millions of people entrust the postal service to deliver their mail and with thieves on the attack, people told 22News they’re choosing to go to the post office in person instead.

“We’re sending really important documents. My husband and I make sure that we take them to the post office and hand deliver them ourselves,” said Racy DeMarco of West Springfield.

Roughly 2,500 suspects were arrested in 2018 for the theft of mail, according to the United States Postal Inspection Services. This threat is continuing to rise today.

People like DeMarco say they’re concerned as many people rely on the postal service to pay bills, deliver personal documents and right now, to have their ballots counted.

“It is a bit nerve wracking, it’s something that we should feel protected by. And we shouldn’t have to worry about our mail. We should feel safe to just, you know, leave things with whoever
is working with the post office or leave it with a mail man,” said DeMarco.

In order to avoid potential theft, experts encourage you to remove mail from your mailbox once it’s delivered.

“If you’re paying a bill through check or you’re trying to send it through mail, I believe I’m going right into the place,” said Ramona Wilson of Springfield.

Which is right on track with what you’re being encouraged to do. You can also look into handling these transactions digitally through a secure portal. As For depositing outgoing mail, try to drop it off right before pickup time or leave it inside your local post office. If you can not be home to receive a package, schedule a pick up instead.

Mail theft is a federal crime and considered a felony. If you are a victim of mail theft or have any information about mail theft, contact your local police department or the USPS.