Stolen from Facebook

Stolen from Facebook

As many of you know form the community forums on Facebook, there has been some mail theft all over Ramona. I have seen post from people in town and in the San Diego Country Estates about mailboxes being broken into and mail being taken.

There has been break-in’s around LaPlata, Nector, Moonglow; etc. If you know the area, these streets are right next to each other. But these aren’t the only streets that have been reported on. The mailbox break-ins are happening all over Ramona.

Although there is a good chance it may be just some kids getting into mischief, you can never be too careful. Its tax time and people are waiting for the tax refunds; this makes it prime opportunity for people to not only steal your checks, but to also steal your identity. If you have no experience with somebody stealing your identity; consider yourself lucky as heck because it is horrible!

So what do you do and how can you protect yourself? Carrie posted a comment in the San Diego Country Estates Forum on Facebook saying…

According to the board (HOA), we are to report all break-in’s to the Police and the Post Office as the mailboxes are the responsibility of the USPS. Report all broken lights to Mario Trejo and they will be fixed stat.

I personally contacted the San Diego Sheriffs Department here in Ramona to find out what people should do to not only report, but to protect themselves as well. The detective I spoke with gave some really good advise. The detective said to do these things…

  • Be diligent about picking up your mail. Don’t let your mail sit in the mail box for days on end.
  • Avoid using the “outgoing” mail slots. Always take your outgoing mail to the post office for mailing.
  • Don’t hesitate to call and report suspicious activity. You can call the non emergency line at 760-789-9157.
  • If you have video camera surveillance, review your video. You never know what or who you may catch.
  • Also, call the Postal Inspector to report and mailbox break in’s. The Ramona Post Office number is 760-789-3118.

The detective also told me that people should pay close attention to all of your accounts. Look at your bank and credit card statements and activity. Most financial institutions have mobile apps allowing you to monitor your accounts easily. This came in handy for me one time as my wallet was stolen, and I didn’t know it until I checked my bank account one morning and found I was flat broke because some little jerk faces spent all my money on burritos, gas, and groceries.

Is mail theft a Federal Crime? You bet your sweet muffin butt it is! US Code Section 1708 because the USPS is a federal agency, mail theft is charged as a federal offense. Conviction of any federal crime, even mail theft, can result in significant federal prison time and fines. In addition to federal charges, you may also face charges under California’s mail theft laws. Let that sink in you little thieves!

Here’s what you are facing if you are caught, under United States Code 18 Section 1708, federal mail theft is a felony. If you are charged with mail theft, you could face up to five years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000.