Vandals and thieves are keeping the United States Postal Service very busy around the metro area. Crews are struggling to keep up with the dozens of cluster mailboxes they’re being forced to replace each week.
A USPS spokesperson told KOB they have to replace ten cluster mailboxes every day around Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
Neighbors in northeast Albuquerque had their community mailbox broken into two weeks ago.
“It looks like they got a crow bar to rip them apart,” said one neighbor. “A lot of them were busted in.”
The USPS just installed a new one a few days ago. It’s fortified with steel to, hopefully, keep crooks out.
“It’s upsetting because there could have been checks sent in the mail from people, and important mail we always get,” said the neighbor.
There’s another new mailbox up the street. The postal service says it’s replacing the cluster mailboxes at a cost of $650 each.
There are some things you can do to protect your mail. The United States Postal Inspection Service says not to leave it in the box overnight, never send cash, ask your bank to send secure checks that can’t be altered and ask the post office to hold delivery while you’re out of town.
“I have a shredder. I shred everything because it’s like, you never know,” said Theresa Miller. “You’re afraid to leave anything out these days.”
Miller said her mailbox was hit twice. She’s just thankful it was replaced with a new, more secure one soon after.
“It was quicker than I actually thought, so I was impressed that they did that,” said Miller.
Mail theft is a federal crime. Criminals who get caught are looking at up to five years in prison.
To report mail theft, you can call the Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.