Homewood police warns of mailbox thieves

By Ashley Nix

HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) - Police are warning people about thieves stealing mail out of mailboxes, which could include personal information.  

At least two incidents have happened in Homewood, criminals stealing mail, getting away with checks written by homeowners. Investigators are urging homeowners to be careful when they put any sort of check, payment of any personal information in the mailbox.  

Over the last week, several people in Homewood and Vestavia have been ripped off.  Police say female suspects could be using homeless people to take a doctored up check into a bank, trying to get quick cash.

When your power, gas, phone or water bill is due, sometimes the easiest thing to do is put the check in your mailbox.  Police say that's not always the safest way.  Homewood resident Jay Burnett, along with many others, take their bills directly to the post office, instead of leaving it in his mailbox.  

"Any bills that we can, I carry to the post office and put directly in the post box," Burnett said.  

Jim Daniell, who also lives in the neighborhood where the crimes happened off crest drive in Homewood, says he's a bit surprised to hear the news.

"We take em to the post office, never leave it in the mailbox to be mailed," Daniell said.  "Precautionary just to be safe, no use pressing the issue."

Kisha Thomas takes her safety precautions a step further, not only paying her bills online, but also paying for a PO Box for her mail to be delivered.  

"I don't have stuff coming to my home, its unfortunate we have to think that way, I buy a P.O. Box for that reason," Thomas said.  "At least here at the P.O. Box I control when I come and get my stuff out of the mail and I have a key to my box."

Sgt. Andrew Didcoct, with the Homewood Police Department says using common sense is key.  People are being urged not to put mail early in the morning or overnight.

"Don't put the flag up to alert the mailman because you're also alerting everyone else," Didcoct said.

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