ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A crime trend of thieves stealing mail from post offices has finally hit the Tampa Bay Area.
Hundreds of St. Pete residents are now on high alert after mail was stolen from a collection box outside the post office on 34th and MLK in St. Pete.
Postal inspectors say it happened on January 20 or 21 and thieves were most "likely" looking for checks for "check washing" that is, changing information on the checks so they could cash them.
Scott Hall owns the Casual Clam, which is next to the Post Office.
"We've had incidents in the neighborhood... I just got finished mailing my W-4s to my employees, of course, I wasn't going to trust those with that mailbox. I went inside," said Hall.
The Postal Service says there are a few steps you can take to better ensure the safety of your mail.
- Drop it off directly inside the Post Office or hand it to a letter carrier.
- Never send cash.
- Pick up incoming mail right away.