Crime & Courts

Mail stolen from boxes in several East Anchorage neighborhoods

East Anchorage residents are being asked to exercise additional care when mailing items after a rash of thefts from mailboxes in several neighborhoods reported to police Monday.

Investigators don't yet have any information on the suspects, according to a Tuesday statement from Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Castro. The thefts of incoming as well as outgoing mail, including "checks, gift cards and medications," were reported in the vicinity of four streets: Old Harbor Avenue, Sherwood Avenue, Kinnikinnick Street and East Fourth Avenue.

"In one report, the citizen stated that they had put their mail in the mailbox earlier that morning with the red tag up and found that the mail was missing before the postal service worker had arrived to pick it up," Castro wrote. "Meanwhile, another citizen reported that they had placed checks in the mailbox earlier that morning to pay bills, and when they asked the mail worker in the afternoon about picking up the checks, they stated they had not received them in the outgoing mail."

Castro said Tuesday morning that the thefts were from unsecured single-home mailboxes, not locked community boxes. She said that none of the stolen mail was recovered at the scene, and no estimate was immediately available for the number of stolen items or their value.

"Yesterday we had seven reports," Castro said. "It's standard for any mail theft: stuff that they can take that's of value or they can sell, checks they can cash or they can try to alter."

The potential timeframe for at least some of the reported thefts spanned much of Monday's midday.

"A lot of the reports, as far as outgoing mail, they had reported that they had put their outgoing mail in the box early in the morning, perhaps 6 or 7 a.m.," Castro said. "They became aware sometime in the early afternoon that their mail had been taken."

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Castro advised anyone whose mail has been stolen to report the crime to both police and their local postmaster.

Police are asking residents of the targeted neighborhoods to take their outgoing mail directly to post offices, and consult a list of further mail-security tips from the U.S. Postal Service.

"Residents are also encouraged to pick up their mail promptly after delivery and if you are traveling out of state this holiday season, have your mail put on hold until you return," Castro wrote.

Anyone with information on the thefts or the people behind them should contact police at 907-786-8900 or Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP or through its website.

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