MailboxMail theft is a serious problem in the United States, and many cases have been reported here in San Jose. Luckily, there are simple things you can do to help protect yourself from becoming a victim.

Mailboxes are a quick and easy target for thieves, especially non-locking boxes. Unlike locked mailboxes that require time and effort to break open, regular boxes without a locking mechanism simply require the opening of a door to reach the contents inside. Thieves that target these boxes have even been bold enough to steal mail in clear daylight.

Owners of Non-Locking Mailboxes:

  • If possible, have valuables, financial documents and monetary related mail sent to a more secure location.
  • Have important mail sent to you certified and require a signature for delivery so that it cannot be left in the mailbox.
  • Consider renting a P.O. Box at your local post office if important mail is often sent to your home.
  • Submit an architectural application to your Board of Directors for a locking mailbox to install in place of your current box.
  • Speak with your Board of Directors at a Board meeting about pre-approving a type of locking mailbox that owners could purchase and have installed. This would make the architectural application approval process quicker for owners interested in a locking box.

Owners of locking mailboxes are less likely to be a victim of a daytime break in; however, night time break-ins are still very common. Especially for cluster boxes, where a number of mailboxes for nearby homes are a part of one large mail unit, making it possible for a thief to steal mail from multiple units at the same time.

Owners of All Mailbox Types:

  • Do not leave mail in your mailbox overnight.
  • If you’re planning to go out of town, contact your local post office to have your mail held there until you return.
  • Important mail should be sent certified and require a signature.
  • Never mail cash, it cannot be tracked.
  • Avoid mailing personal checks. Although they can sometimes be tracked, checks clearly display your bank account and routing numbers, leaving your account vulnerable to fraud. If mailing a check is unavoidable, mail it certified and require a signature for delivery, or mail a money order instead.
  • Outgoing mail should be taken to the local post office or handed directly to the mail carrier.
  • Organize a community watch program to deter vandals.
  • Be alert for suspicious people and vehicles and report suspicious activity to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at (877) 876-2455.

Report Mail Theft to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service:

– Online via the U.S. Postal Inspection Service website under the “File a Complaint” link on the home page.

– Or call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at (877) 876-2455 and state “theft” when prompted.

Please also call our customer service department at (408) 226-3300 to report the mail theft and any damaged property so that your manager can begin working with the Post Office to make repairs.



United States Postal Inspection Service,