Some Eden Prairie residents answering a knock on their door recently got a bit of a surprise. Instead of Amazon, UPS or FedEx, it was an Eden Prairie police officer – delivering their mail.
The department recently recovered bags of mail that had been stolen from mailboxes and returned as much as they could, according to Kari Knoll, City of Eden Prairie senior communications coordinator.
Knoll said there hasn’t been a dramatic increase in mail thefts recently, but it typically picks up this time of year. As do thefts of packages delivered on doorsteps.
Knoll had these tips for homeowners:
- Don’t use your mailbox for outgoing mail. Take it to the Post Office or use one of their boxes.
- If you choose to use your mailbox for outgoing mail, don’t raise the flag. It just alerts potential thieves of the presence of mail, she said.
- If you are expecting a package delivery, make sure someone is at home or mail it elsewhere – such as a workplace – where someone will be available.
- Report suspicious activity to the police department.
AARP also suggests using ship-to-store services offered by Amazon, FedEx and UPS. Your packages will be safe, you just have to pick them up.
The U.S. Postal Service and some other carriers offer services to hold mail and packages when you are out of town.
Other experts recommend minimizing delivered mail by utilizing online delivery options for bank statements, credit card statements and other sensitive mail.
Locking mailboxes also are a potential solution. Just remember that they must have a slot large enough for the amount of mail you typically receive. Check out the USPS website for more mailbox requirements.