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Mail Fishing: How to keep your mail from ending up in the wrong hands

Posted at 7:36 PM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 11:55:51-04

TULSA, Okla. — “Fishing for mail,” is the term postal inspectors use to call thieves trying to steal mail.

This kind of theft caught one Tulsa woman in a sticky situation. Her mail got stuck on glue pasted in the postal box in her neighborhood.

Debbie Oliver said she spoke to the manager at the post office who said it happened before. Oliver uses her neighborhood postal box to send mail, but after she put her mail in the slot, she noticed a thick glue all over her hand.

“I went to stick my mail in the blue mailbox and it got stuck,” Oliver said.

Unsure what it was, she went straight to the manager of this post office, nearly 100 feet away.

“When I told him he had sticky stuff in the mailbox, he was not surprised of this,” Oliver said.

In fact, she said they’ve had issues with this postal box before.

“I had one piece of mail stuck up there and someone else when the manager opened the mailbox, he dug it all out,” Oliver said.

Since then, we’ve been told reports have been made to the regional office. Paul Ecker, postal inspector for the U.S. Postal Service, said these kinds of crimes aren’t common, but he and his team take an aggressive approach in identifying suspects.

“We also work with the post office on enhancing the security of the collection box,” Ecker said.

Ecker also said they can also use your help. They encourage the public to report any mail fraud, crime or loss to the inspection service.

“That provides us leads to help us follow up and identify those involved,” Ecker said.

Meanwhile, Oliver just hopes the post office addresses the issue, and fast.

“This post office alone has had issues with it and they’ve done nothing about the security of it," she said.

Ecker said the best thing you can do to keep your mail safe is to walk your mail into the post office rather than using collection boxes.

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