SEATTLE — Viewers often send in surveillance video of thieves at their doorstep, taking boxes and letters.
While that is frustrating, what it can lead to can be downright infuriating.
While you’re waiting for that personal document so you can file your taxes, so are thieves, ready to steal so much more. With tax season upon us, that ever important W-2 will make it’s way to your mailbox. And Redmond police say it’s up to you to get to it, before a thief does.
“There’s so much you can do online now and go paperless and reduce a lot of those threats, but the W-2s, which has a whole bunch of very personal information on it, does go through the mail, so it’s a good time to remind people to be vigilant,” says Andrea Wolf-Buck with the Redmond Police Department.
If a thief can get their hands on your mail, they could possibly steal your identity, too.
Redmond PD says thieves ransacked a group mailbox over the weekend. And they’ve had 15 reported mail thefts this month alone.
While those numbers aren’t exactly startling, each one is frustrating for the victims who experience this.
When homeowner, Lizeth Ababneh sent Q13 News surveillance video of packages being stolen off her front porch in Snohomish County, she called it "Crime and Karma."
The video shows a woman approach Lizeth’s front porch. She grabs the packages and makes a dash to the getaway car. But she slips and falls on wet grass, appearing to either sprain or break her ankle! Her getaway driver has to carry her to the car and then goes back for the packages, before driving away. Police said Tuesday they arrested a man and a woman as suspects in the case.
“It’s causing headaches. After work I have to go and pick up my package because, I’m aware already that somebody else wants to steal it, which is not fair,” says Lizeth.
Her grievance is echoed across our region.
In Bothell, a man and a woman were caught on surveillance stealing mail from an apartment complex.
Security expert Jerold McGlothlin owns 25/7 Protection in Tukwila. He says it just goes to show when it comes to protecting your mail nothing is guaranteed.
“The bad guy knows they can take a screwdriver, they pop it and the door is down. And then quite often we see this box, after we just paid a hundred dollars going to a secure box, or they teach them how to reach their arm in at an angle and get what they want,” says McGlothlin.
Just last week in Pierce County, neighbors fed up with mail and package theft created a block watch Facebook page. And while posting your surveillance video and commiserating with neighbors is all well and good, Redmond police reminds us you must report every incident to your local police department so they can track the numbers in your neighborhood, and if it warrants, increase their patrols.
The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office says they have identified that clumsy package thief who fell and hurt her ankle. But it's a good reminder to check your mail every day or coordinate with a neighbor or have it held at the post office.
But if someone steals your mail, report it and make sure your neighbors do the same so police can focus their attention on your neighborhood.