A local neighborhood is on edge after a recent string of mail-related thefts and vandalism.
Eau Claire Police say they’ve gotten four reports of theft and vandalism of mail in the past week.
Three of them were on Eau Claire’s south side.
Police reports indicate the crimes happened near the Oakwood Mall and in a neighborhood near South Middle School.
WEAU 13 News spoke with the Eau Claire Postmaster on Tuesday, who said the U.S. Postal Service has seen a spike in mail-related crimes on the south side of the city in the past three weeks.
Jill Dieringer, who lives on Mitchell Avenue on Eau Claire’s south side, said it all started a couple weeks ago when she noticed a broken mail box down the street.
Now she said she’s shocked to hear a vandal had stolen one of her neighbor’s mail, tore it up and tossed it in the middle of the street.
“I can imagine how it can be disturbing for a lot of people depending on what they're mail is. It’s bad enough with all the ways people can get your information,” Dieringer said.
On the same day, police reported another mail-ripping crime on Chumas Drive, just one street north.
“There's an increase lately and they're mostly taking letters and stuff out of the mailboxes and that's usually bills being paid or checks going out to family and relatives,” said Kim Leith, the Postmaster of Eau Claire.
Leith said you can keep your mail materials secure by avoiding mailing cash or coins and getting a mailbox that can lock.
“If you're heading out of town make sure you have your mail on hold or have somebody picking up your mail. If you're not going to be home until later in the day have someone pick it up for you,” Leith said.
And if you’re waiting for a holiday gift to arrive, Leith recommends letting your mail carrier know where you want your package placed, or if you’d rather pick it up at the Post Office.
Some neighbors said these crimes will change how they get their mail.
“Maybe go out there and get your schedule set right away so you can get your mail right away,” said neighbor Jason Keisler.
The Postmaster also reminds all that messing with someone’s mail is a federal offense.
She said if your mail has been stolen or vandalized, call the police first and then contact your local postal inspector.
Police reports indicate there was a theft of mail on the north side of Eau Claire on Fall Street.
The homeowner told WEAU 13 News that he had a letter stolen.