Video shows thieves steal mail from Myers Park condos

CHARLOTTE — Video shows thieves steal residents’ mail at Tranquil Court condos in Myers Park.

The four thieves could be seen unlocking mailboxes, dumping out the mail, and stealing packages.

Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke has reported about thieves who steal master keys that mail carriers use, which are called arrow keys.

They can then unlock mailboxes across town.

Resident and condo association board member Terri Donovan said she couldn’t believe what happened.

“I had no idea,” Donovan said. “I had no idea.”

Donovan told Stoogenke that her building used to have a small blue lockbox outside the main entrance.

She said the letter carrier would use an arrow key to unlock the front doors and go inside.

He would use the same arrow key to unlock the mailboxes in the lobby.

The thieves apparently had the arrow key, so they accessed the building to get into the mail.

“I get letters from the IRS,” Donovan said. “I get credit card statements. I get things that have personal information on it just like we all do, and there’s no telling what they have.”

Donovan warns that others who have similar lockboxes to think twice.

“Any condominium building, any apartment complex, any office building that has a USPS box on it, those need to come off,” Donavan warned.

The Postal Service announced in May that it was replacing 49,000 arrow locks with electric ones across the nation.

It will install 12,000 high-security blue collection boxes across the country.

Postal Service officials recently said they are making progress on those updates.

Stoogenke has warned about mail thieves stealing checks.

They “wash” them and change the amounts and who they’re made out to. Keep a close eye on your bank accounts and freeze your credit if you suspect any illegal activity.

Here are 10 ways you can protect yourself:

  • Pick up mail quickly. Don’t leave it in the mailbox a long time.
  • If you can’t, use USPS’ hold service.
  • Drop mail in blue boxes close to pick-up times.
  • Better yet, drop off mail inside the post office directly, if you’re worried.
  • If you’re expecting money in the mail and don’t get it, don’t hesitate. Tell the sender right away.
  • Don’t mail cash.
  • If you move, ensure everyone important has your new address.
  • Use gel pens to write checks. They are hard to erase, especially the uni-ball 207. You can get them almost everywhere and they’re pretty cheap: about $2 each.
  • Use online or mobile banking features instead of checks.
  • Think about using cashier’s checks instead of personal checks.

You can find more information on mail and package theft here.

If you think someone stole your mail, report it through this link or call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service: 877-876-2455