The impact of stolen mail on a local neighborhood and what we can learn from it

USPS and Forest Lakes community teaming up to battle stolen mail issues
The impact of stolen mail on a local neighborhood and what we can learn from it
Posted at 4:30 AM, Jan 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-19 10:32:27-05

MOUNUMENT, COLO. — The United States Postal Service delivers roughly 130 billion pieces of mail each year to more than 160 million addresses nationwide. With that much mail on the move, it can provide an opportunity for thieves if they can get their hands on your mail before you do.

Viewers called News5 to look into cases of mail theft impacting a neighborhood in the Monument area.

The concerns center around a community mailbox area in Forest Lakes, a community just west of the I-25 Baptist Road exit. For months now residents in the area say they’ve had pieces of mail and even packages stolen from these mailboxes.

It’s gotten to the point where some residents have decided to hold their mail at the post office as investigators work to figure out what’s going on.

“We had a Christmas gift stolen that was for our son,” said Forest Lakes resident Travis Sheveland. ”We had neighbors who had a passport stolen, credit cards were stolen, many, many gifts, cards probably with money. I mean the criminals knew what they were doing and when it was time to hit.”

Sheveland says his El Paso County neighborhood first started feeling the impact of mail and package theft last October, but things spiked during the holidays.

Who exactly was stealing these items and how exactly they were able to do it remains a mystery, but USPS says it believes the mailboxes in Forest Lakes were being tampered with by thieves.

”I think steps were taken and it seems to have cooled off. I’m just not convinced that it’s over,” said Sheveland.

The USPS tells News5 in response to the concerns of the neighborhood mail delivery times have been adjusted to help residents have more daylight hours to pick up their mail and it also worked with the local homeowners association which has now installed additional lighting and security cameras to the mailbox area

“People in our neighborhood were going to the post office and going to the HOA and going to the metro district being that loud voice to get this done, but it was extremely frustrating,” said Sheveland.

News5 followed up with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and got this response from a spokesperson…

“The USPIS is aware of the reports in Monument, CO. In accordance with USPIS and Department of Justice policies, we are unable to comment on any pending/ongoing criminal matters.”

Meanwhile, Sheveland and his neighbors hope someone is held accountable for the mail theft in their community before it starts happening again.

The Office of the Inspector General says mail theft continues to spike nationwide, which means there’s a chance it could impact you next. So what can you do to try to defend against these crimes?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Sign up for informed delivery (So you know what should be in your mailbox)
  • Pick up your mail daily (Try to avoid leaving your mail sitting for extended periods of time)
  • Have the post office hold your mail for up to 30 days (If you are out of town or need to increase your mailbox security)

If you do become the victim of mail theft it’s important to report it as soon as possible to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service so it can begin investigating the circumstances and for clues about who might be responsible

Individuals who have issues with stolen mail should always report it to the USPIS using the website - [] or by calling us at 877-876-2455.

Additionally, USPS customers can find helpful information about mail theft prevention by visiting this website: []

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