USPS warning against dropping off mail and packages at night

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 9:08 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With holidays around the corner, more people will be sending packages and letters through the mail and the United States Postal Service is warning about what time you actually drop them off.

While it may be more convenient to drop off gifts or packages at night, a US Postal Inspector says more thieves are out stealing the mail while it’s dark.

“You’ve heard the advice of not leaving wallets, purses in the front seat of a car overnight,” said Tony Robinson. “That same advice applies to mail receptacles.”

US Postal Inspector Tony Robinson says it’s a bad idea to let mail sit in any mailbox overnight, whether at home or at the post office.

He adds that thieves love darkness and mail can be stolen more easily at night since it sits for hours and less people are watching.

“Nowadays with the internet and the social media, you have networks of thieves targeting the mail so they can do such things as identity theft and check washing, basically to make quick cash for them,” he explains.

Nobody’s mail is safe overnight. Robinson said recently, someone opened his own mailbox, thinking he wasn’t home to catch them.

“That’s why it’s important to keep it from staying overnight, whether the mail is staying overnight in your mail receptacles at the house or the collection boxes,” said Robinson.

On most drop boxes, Robinson says there is a time listed that will specify when the last pickup is of the day.

“Here at Birmingham main office, the last collection is at 8 o’clock at night, whereas at your local neighborhood, it may be 1 o’clock in the afternoon or 5:30 in the evening,” he added.

So if you missed the last collection of the day, Robinson recommends waiting until the next morning or afternoon to better avoid your package or letter from getting stolen.

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