Mail Thefts in South Lake Area Recently, the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department (SLMPD) has taken several reports of thefts from mailboxes. Thefts have been reported in many nearby communities as well. Mail theft nearly always leads to identity theft, which is currently the fastest growing crime in the Minnesota, as well as in the United States.
The SLMPD urges you to take some basic precautions to reduce your chances of becoming a victim:
ALWAYS put outgoing mail into an official United States Postal Service (USPS) collection box. They are harder to break into, and in a more public setting.
AVOID putting outgoing mail into your own personal mailbox. Mail placed in a personal mailbox is unsecured. If you must put outgoing mail in your box, don't raise the flag; postal personnel will still pick it up, but you won't be advertising that it is there. The red flag is the perfect signal to a mail thief that there is outgoing mail (and probably checks that can be altered) in the mailbox.
Pick up your delivered mail as soon as possible from your personal mailbox. Never let it overflow.
Before leaving for vacation, place your mail on hold. This can be done on the Internet by going to www.usps.com. Click on "Hold Mail" and you'll be taken to a secure site for entering your information. You can also pick up a "Hold Mail" card at any post office branch.
Consider electronic banking and direct deposits to minimize the amount of financial data coming into and going out from your mail box. When you order new checks, consider picking them up at the bank rather than having them mailed to your home.
ALWAYS shred all mail going into your garbage that contains your name, address, account numbers, or other vital information. Shredders are available inexpensively at office supply stores or discount department stores.
If you observe suspicious activity in your neighborhood, report it to the SLMPD immediately by calling 911.