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Thieves targeting Turlock mailboxes

Once again a thief or thieves are breaking into mailboxes around various Turlock neighborhoods, according to the Turlock Police Department.

In one day the department took 11 reports of mailboxes being pried open and damaged. A majority of the mailboxes are the cluster type, with multiple addresses receiving mail in the unit.

The damaged mailboxes were reported on Moonbeam Way, Callisto Lane, Mountain Springs Drive, Explorer Way, Reflection Avenue, Nordic Way, Sandstone Street, Brookstone Drive, Monogram Court, Shire Way, and Sorrel Drive. All the reports were received Tuesday morning.

Turlock has experienced an uptick in mail thefts over the past year, especially around the winter holidays.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Office suggests these tips to help avoid becoming a victim of mail theft:

·         - Use the letter slots inside your Post Office for your mail, or hand it to a letter carrier.

·         - Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight. If you're expecting checks, credit cards, or other negotiable items, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail.

·        -  If you don't receive a check or other valuable mail you're expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.

·         - If you change your address, immediately notify your Post Office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.

·         - Don’t send cash in the mail.

·         - Tell your Post Office when you’ll be out of town, so they can hold your mail until you return.

·         - Report all suspected mail theft to a Postal Inspector.

·         - Consider starting a neighborhood watch program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted friends and neighbors, you can watch each other's mailboxes (as well as homes).

Anyone seeing a theft in progress should call 911 and provide the dispatcher with a detailed description of the suspect, including a description of the clothing, height, weight, approximate age and any vehicles or other method of transportation that they may be using.

Anyone spotting someone behaving suspiciously in their neighborhood or around a cluster mailbox, should report it to the police department dispatch at 668-1200.