A rash of mail thefts in the 1800 block of Keyes Road has prompted one resident to warn others to be extra vigilant.
“My neighbors and I are looking into the expense of buying a locking mailbox to put up,” said Mary Anne Pentis, who started noticing opened mail on her street last Monday.
Pentis has found envelopes ripped open and said the culprits may be targeting Christmas cards and parcels. One sheet of paper she found on the ground referred to a gift card, but there was no card.
“I went up and down the block and found mail from one end to the other,” she said.
She delivered the strewn mail to the neighbors the mail was intended for, reported the situation to the Ramona Post Office and talked with her mail carrier.
If mail is found that has been tampered with, Rebecca Eckert, supervisor at the Ramona Post Office, said it should be brought to the post office for the postal inspector to investigate. She strongly suggested that people check their mailboxes every day, get a locking mailbox or rent a post office box at the post office. Box rentals range from $30 to $60 per six months, depending on the size.
“People in the real rural area, it’s best to have some kind of locking mailbox,” said Eckert.
“Get people to have a basic idea of when the mailman comes by and collect it as soon as they can,” Pentis advised.
Regarding renting a post office box, some places will not deliver to a post office box, said Pentis. She inquired about the post office holding her mail for awhile, but said she was told there would be a charge unless it was a vacation hold.
Pentis, concerned about a parcel she was expecting, talked to her mail carrier about the recent mail tampering in her neighborhood. He told her he would sign for the package and even throw it over the gate at her property, but only if he has her permission, she said.
“Who knows what’s went missing in the past,” said Pentis, who also is concerned about identity theft if thieves collect credit card and other personal information.
The post office may be contacted at 760-789-3118.
Mail theft may also be reported to the sheriff’s Ramona Substation, 1424 Montecito Road, 760-789-9157.