The U.S. Postal Service has seen a spike in mail thefts on Oahu.
Inspectors tell KHON2 that it’s happening all across the island, but more so in two areas in Windward Oahu.
“Although we cannot go into detail about specific methods thieves are using to steal mail, reported incidents of mail theft on Oahu has risen sharply in recent months,” said U.S. Postal Service Inspector Brian Shaughnessy.
Officials tell KHON2 the two areas that have been hit the hardest are Hau’ula and Laie and what the thieves are going after has many concerned.
“Thieves are after anything valuable including checks, credit cards, bank account info and any documents containing personal information,” said Shaughnessy.
That’s exactly what authorities say Davelyn Mahi did on Maui.
She was just sentenced to six years in prison for mail theft and identity theft.
Mahi is accused of stealing hundreds of mail items and authorities say she used fraudulent credit cards to buy thousands of dollars worth of goods.
Theft of mail is a federal offense that can get someone up to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000.
“We are constantly evaluating trends and vulnerability and working to improve the security of the mail,” said Shaughnessy.
So what can you do to protect your mail?
“We advice customers to never send cash or coins in the mail,” said Shaughnessy. “Always use checks or money orders, promptly remove mail from the mailbox after it is delivered or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up items if you are expecting high value items. If you are going on vacation or out of town notify the post office to put a vacation hold on your mail and it will be waiting on your return at the post office. If your employer allows you to receive important packages at work consider having your package sent to work.”