Postal inspectors and police come together to stop Portland-area package thieves


U.S. postal inspectors are teaming up with local police departments to prevent package thefts this holiday season, and several arrests have already been made in the Portland area.

The project started this week with Cyber Monday, and so far, a handful of thieves have been caught.

Postal inspectors told FOX 12 they expect more arrests to follow as the effort continues through the December and into the new year.

The inspectors explained that they have packages out all across the metro area with trackers and other devices in them, and many of the packages that have been stolen so far were placed by investigators as part of this sting.

They’re also focusing on education, both for mail carriers who deliver the packages and for community members on how to better protect themselves.

The inspectors told FOX 12 that customers can take easy steps, like having packages delivered to the office or a secure locker so they’re not left unattended on a porch, that can make a huge difference.

They also warned that just because a criminal may have already hit one residence does not mean that they won’t return.

“We find that parcel thieves don’t just steal mail once,” postal inspector Adam Sale explained. “Generally, they steal from multiple mailboxes over multiple nights, sometimes over long periods of time.”

Of course, packages are the focus this time of year, but the theft of regular mail is another issue they’re focusing on because it can lead to identity theft and other problems.

Postal inspectors are working with police officers in Portland, Vancouver, Beaverton and Hillsboro, as well as with the Washington County and Clark County Sheriff’s Offices to make this effort happen.

The inspectors encourage anyone who sees something suspicious with packages in their neighborhood to call the police.

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