West Carrollton police latest to warn of thefts from USPS blue boxes

Jan. 7—Police in West Carrollton are the latest to warn residents to not use the outdoor blue collection boxes outside U.S. Post Office branches.

The West Carrollton Police Department on Friday reported three separate thefts within the past couple days in which large checks were stolen out of the blue drop boxes.

"We want to encourage citizens to not use these collection boxes for now. Instead, go inside the actual post office and use their drop station to send your outgoing mail," the department posted on social media.

The Beavercreek Police Department on Tuesday also reported recent thefts and warned residents about the dangers of using the outdoor boxes.

"If you are paying bills by mail and have utilized the blue boxes in the past, we encourage you to begin delivering your outgoing mail to the drop off stations inside the post office," the Beavercreek Police Department stated in a press release.

Mail theft has been an ongoing problem across the country and in the Dayton area.

There were thefts last year from at least seven different post office mail boxes in Beavercreek, Dayton, Kettering and Centerville/Washington Twp., amounting to thousands of dollars in stolen checks.

In September, two postal workers were robbed at gunpoint within 15 minutes of each other in Dayton and Trotwood. In both cases the robber reportedly demanded the letter carrier's "arrow key," which is a universal key that unlocks the blue collection boxes.

At least six people have been arrested in connection to mailbox thefts in the area, according to U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokeswoman Nicole Lutz of the Cincinnati Field Office, who said there are active investigations into the mail theft activity.

"If customers are using USPS blue collection boxes we encourage them to place their outgoing mail in the blue boxes before the last pickup time of the day," Lutz said previously, to make sure the mail is picked up that day.

Those who believe they may have been a victim of mail theft should contact the Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 to file a report.