SEATTLE – ‘Tis the season for package thieves and mailbox crooks. One family in West Seattle had their mail stolen so many times they installed security cameras – and caught one suspect red-handed.
The problem is so bad on 8th Avenue that most people here have installed secure mailboxes that lock.
Resident Casey English hopes cops will be able to identify the mail thief he caught on surveillance camera
“People like me can catch people like you,” said English. “It’s not a nameless or faceless crime, people are affected by this.”
English installed the camera after crooks repeatedly helped themselves to his bills and junk mail.
And now that Christmas is right around the corner, police say thieves are gearing up for easy scores.
“In the past there have been some bad guys that are following delivery trucks, watching them deliver packages and then taking them,” said Sgt. Cindi West with the King County Sheriff’s Office.
While cameras can help cops investigate those crimes, police suggest you should get a locking mailbox instead of a camera.
“They’ve got your mail now, and we may catch them, but what’s happened to that mail in the process?” West asked. “You may be a victim of identity theft; fraud on your credit card, which is the least of your worry. Again, we suggest you try to avoid that in the first place. Use a locking mailbox of the post office.”
English plans to keep his standard mailbox for now as he’s hoping to bait the crooks and lock them up.
“I’d rather see them in jail,” said English. “I’d rather see them serving their time and maybe deter people from doing it.”
Cops say you can protect yourself by asking family members to not send any cash or checks through the mail.
Or if you’re expecting a package, try to get the delivery company to allow you pick it up at their office instead of leaving it right out in the open on the front porch for everyone to see.