COLORADO SPRINGS — As one man learned, your mailbox is just as susceptible to theft, no matter what neighborhood you live in.
Kelly Smith lives in the upscale Broadmoor neighborhood.
“I’ve been here three years,” Smith said. “And this is a pretty nice neighborhood, you know, usually really quiet.”
But for the better part of the past month, someone has been helping himself to Smith's mailbox.
“When we first noticed it… I talked to my girlfriend and she said… yeah we’re expecting some checks that never arrived,” Smith said.
Maybe his neighbors received his mail by mistake, he thought. But when he asked them, he learned something else.
“It’s happening all across the neighborhood,” he said.
He wasn’t alone. so he got creative.
“I had a home security system and so I checked one of the nights that it occurred, and sure enough there’s a vehicle that you can see on tape that’s cruising by and stops at my mailbox, and reaches right into my mailbox and grabs some information, some letters there,” he said.
Mail theft is an issue in more than just Smith’s neighborhood.
In September, NBC news reported postal inspection service data showed that mail theft reports soared by 600% over the past three years nationwide.
“We filed a police report right away, as well as a post office report,” Smith said.
That step is important. Since mail theft is a federal crime, the postal service has inspectors whose job it is to investigate cases like Smith's.
The Postal Service has a hotline at 877-876-2455 where mail theft victims can report their case to inspectors.
“This person’s stealing paper money,” Smith said. “You know, it’s happening.”
Now, he’s on mission to curb his curbside bandit.
“We check our mail now every day,” he said. “During the daylight hours, and we try to not give him the opportunity to take anything important.”
CSPD confirmed they are investigating Smith’s case, but could not offer details on the investigation yet.