Kearney may be a town of under 10,000 people, but even their proud, quaint village isn’t free from holiday theft.
"Chief of police tells me we've had approximately twenty people who've had mail theft,” said mayor Bill Dane.
Kearney Police confirmed at least three cases in recent days where boxes have been opened or outgoing mail has been stolen.
What are criminals after?
Anything worth value: cash, gifts, gift cards, even checks.
Police say identity thieves have stolen checks from mail boxes, cleared all written ink off the check to make it blank, and re-wrote themselves a new check with their fake identity.
How can I keep my mail safe?
Tips from the U.S. Postal Service include:
1. Avoid sending cash by mail.
2. Don’t leave your mail or parcels unattended—especially overnight.
3. Consider an alternate shipping address.
4. Change of plans? Change your package’s delivery address—while it’s in transit!
5. Customize your delivery. Provide the Postal Service personalized instructions.
6. Keep thieves at bay while you’re away. Hold your mail at your Post Office™.
7. Secure your shipment using USPS Signature Services.
8. Protect your package every step of the way, and insure its valuable contents. Opt for Registered Mail service—the Postal Service’s most secure form of mail delivery.
9. Control your package’s delivery date using Priority Mail Express.
- You can also create a profile and track packages at MyUSPS.com.
- Try to avoid sending outgoing mail directly from your mailbox, especially by using the attached ‘red flag.’
- Mail directly from the post office if possible.
- Don’t let old mail inside your mailbox pile up.
What if I am a victim of mail theft?
You can submit an online complaint. Through the U.S. Postal Service you can do so through USPS.com, then selecting the United States Postal Inspection Service link at the bottom of the page.
If you suspect a check was stolen, call your bank immediately to cancel the check.
In some cases, companies will issue refunds or ship another product if the package sent from their store goes missing.
According to the Postal Service, they expect to deliver more than 15 billion mail pieces, including 600 million packages this holiday season alone.
Josh Helmuth can be reached at email@example.com.