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Rampant mail thefts reported in North Iowa; investigation underway

This news story was published on January 21, 2016.
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snow-mailMASON CITY – The United States Postal Inspector confirms that there are up to 100 victims of mail theft in the North Central Iowa area over the last several weeks.

The thefts are occurring in Mason City and surrounding towns, mostly at curbside mailboxes. Victims are coming forward from Mason City, Clear Lake, Manly, Lake Mills, Northwood and many other areas.

Jim O’Hara, of the Des Moines U.S. postal inspections office, tells NIT Thursday afternoon that “there is an investigation” underway into these thefts and “it’s safe to say there are 50-100 victims” of these crimes.

Mr. O’Hara says there are two suspects at this time and federal charges are pending.

Mason City police tell NIT that a case was initiated here in November of 2015 where a known female was suspected of taking mail and stealing contents for various criminal reasons. This was “apparently (happening) in multiple North Iowa counties,” a police spokesman said.

“Because the thefts occurred from mailboxes, the case was referred to US Postal Inspectors (theft from mailboxes being a federal offense),” the MCPD spokesman elaborated. “The Feds would be the ones to file charges. I do not know if they have.”

He declined to name the suspect.

Mr. O’Hara says that the crime spree is so widespread that many postal customers “may not even know they are victims”. He says that some stolen mail “has been recovered and redistributed” to some victims. He also said that the suspects seem to have ceased criminal activities at this time.

However, he urged postal customers, especially in the more rural areas, to clear their mailboxes as quickly as possible. An extra layer of security would be to install locking mailboxes.

Mail theft and possession is a federal crime and can carry a prison term of 5 years.

If you feel you may be a victim of postal theft, you can call Jim O’Hara at 515-253-2688.

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2 Responses to Rampant mail thefts reported in North Iowa; investigation underway

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 23, 2016 at 9:13 am

    A few times last year I did not receive my mastercard statement – 15.00 late payment fee. Maybe these birds took it and then again MAYBE masterbird just did’nt send it. OH! for shame to think that way.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 21, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Well that probably solves what happened to couple of my Amazon order around Xmas time