Visalia neighborhood targeted by mailbox break-ins

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Friday, December 23, 2022
Visalia neighborhood targeted by mailbox break-ins
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A Visalia neighborhood is coming together after their community mailboxes have been found open and empty at least three times since October.

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Visalia neighborhood is coming together after noticing something odd about their community mailboxes.

"We've been having mailbox break-ins, and they seem to have a master key because there is no break-in. The door is just left open. We have a neighborhood Facebook group which is very good about reporting incidents like this," said Joni Flores, a concerned resident.

Flores says residents have noticed the mailbox left open and empty at least three times since October.

She says the most recent incident she's aware of happened Sunday because her mail was missing after getting an Informed Delivery email that it was coming.

"It was taken within a few hours of the mail being delivered by at least 6 pm that we noticed. For me personally, I had a prescription taken, and I've had to deal with insurance. Other people had jury summons taken, medical bills. We are also worried about identity theft."

Flores says on the neighborhood watch page, residents are keeping a close eye on the mailboxes in hopes of figuring out who is behind the alleged thefts.

She says they've filed police reports and contacted the United States Postal Service.

"Usually, someone will post a picture and say the mailbox is open, mail is taken. So, we check our emails, do the police reports, and contact USPS. The post office doesn't seem to be addressing the issues we are reporting," Flores explained.

Flores filed a recent complaint with USPS, and their returned email says the service request is currently being reviewed.

However, she's worried that changes aren't happening fast enough.

For now, she is getting her mail as soon as it arrives but says not everyone on the block can do that.

"It's very scary in the holiday season. People are traveling, people are busy, so it's a very stressful time to have to deal with this. It would be nice if we could get some resolve from the post office."

In a statement to Action News, a spokesperson from the United States Postal Inspection Service encouraged residents to check their mail everyday, and to report missing or stolen mail.

Those who suspect their mail has been stolen can call the Postal Inspectors at (877) 876-2455, or report the theft online.

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