WESTCHASE, Fla. — The porch pirates and mail thieves are out to steal the holiday!
Monday, the Westchase HOA says someone snatched two bags full of letters out of peoples mailboxes and stole gift cards, checks and cash.
Bayboro Bridge Drive in Westchase and Fawn Lane in the Fawn Ridge subdivision were the two streets targeted. The most bizarre part of this story — the thieves took the mail to the Westchase HOA, sifted through it and then dumped it in the parking lot.
Courtney Netta lives on one of those streets and says while she wasn’t a victim this time around, she has been in the past and feels going into someone’s mailbox is very unsettling.
"Especially if you didn’t know it was coming, so you might think Aunt Mabel forgot about you this year because you didn’t realize that she had sent you a five dollar bill,” she said.
Goldstein says after the staff member called the United States Postal Inspection Service, investigators came out to see what was missing. He says they plan on reaching out to the neighbors impacted to let them know.
"I know the federal government takes it very seriously, it’s mail fraud!” she said. "So whoever it is knock it off because it’s not a joke.”
The post office suggests people drop important letters and packages off directly to the post office rather than leave them in your mailbox.
They say if you can’t get your mail promptly you can use the USPS hold mail service.
Netta says she also gets daily alerts from the post office that tells her what will arrive in the mailbox that day. The service is called Informed Delivery.
"It’s really nice to know what’s coming and if something isn’t there I know it’s missing,” she said.
Everyone agrees it’s a good idea to get to know your neighbors and watch out for one another. That way, if you see something suspicious you can report it right away.