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2014-05-29

Postal thieves busy in Lakehills

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Rural mailbox thieves continue to do their damage in the Lakehills area. A resident has reported her mail taken out of her box last month.
"This was outgoing mail," said the complainant. "Unfortunately, what I had mailed were some income tax forms, so there was a lot of personal information."
Having the spent the last few weeks cancelling credit cards and changing bank accounts, the concerned resident continues to worry about whether her identity will be stolen.
This resident lives past the end of Park Road 37. Her neighborhood has a couple of long lines of mailboxes. Others in that area said they had their mail taken as well.
"There doesn't seem to be anything the postal service can do," she said, after consulting with the postmaster at the Pipe Creek Post Office, which serves Lakehills. "I had hoped they could at least put a notice in everyone's box warning them to keep an eye out for suspicious activities near the boxes."
The postal employee recommended she rent a post office box or get together with her neighbors to erect a lockable box kiosk. "We live 30 to 40 miles from the post office," she said. "Making that trip every day to get our mail or to mail something out is just not feasible."
She is currently researching the requirements for a lockable box kiosk online. While that solution can be expensive initially, preventing the theft of important documents could more than make up the cost to the individual boxholders.
There are also individual lockable mailboxes available.
To avoid having this kind of theft happen to you, exercise caution. If you can, take outgoing mail that contains important personal information to the post office to mail. Keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles or activities in the vicinity of neighborhood mailboxes.
Report all cases of mail theft to the Bandera County Sheriff's Office. Even though little can be done to find or return your missing mail, multiple reports could reveal a pattern of activity that could lead to identifying suspects.
Arrange to have financial documents, such as your tax refund or social security checks, deposited directly into your bank account.