Trumbull police issue warning after series of mail thefts

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Trumbull police are warning residents about an increase in mail theft incidents from residential mailboxes and collection boxes.

Trumbull police are warning residents about an increase in mail theft incidents from residential mailboxes and collection boxes.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

TRUMBULL — Local police are warning residents after officers interrupted thieves trying to steal from a mail collection box earlier this week.

The incident occurred around 4 a.m. Monday at the Trumbull Shopping Center, police said in a statement Wednesday.

"Trumbull police are actively working with other law enforcement agencies in attempts to track down and apprehend these criminals," the statement said. "United States Postal Inspectors also investigate these crimes and work together with local law enforcement agencies regarding these matters."

The incident was one of "several mail theft cases" Trumbull police are investigating. 

They're not alone. 

In Greenwich, police reported a spate of local thefts of mail stolen out of mailboxes. Criminals then sift through the mail and use checks and personal information to commit fraud or identity theft, Greenwich police warned. In Westport, police reported an uptick in "check washing" cases early this year, in which thieves altered stolen checks to steal funds out of the account holder's bank account. And in nearby Fairfield, police reported mail thefts, some of which resulted in check fraud, late last year.

In Trumbull, police said thieves are stealing mail both from residential mailboxes and from United States Postal Service collection boxes.

"Thieves look for residential mailbox that have their outgoing mail flags in the upright position, alerting mail to be collected, and then thieves steal the contents from within," Trumbull police said.

Collection boxes yield more mail for thieves to sort through to find checks and other valuables, Trumbull police said. 

The department shared a number of tips to try help residents avoid becoming the victim of mail theft. Those include picking mail up promptly, rather than letting it sit in the mailbox, putting outgoing mail out close to pickup times, requesting signature confirmation, following up on overdue mail, and not sending cash through the post. 

"Mail theft is a crime, and these types are occurring in many areas of the community and throughout the state," the statement from police said.

Residents can report mail crimes through the Trumbull Police Department at 203-261-3665, or call the United States Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.