With the holiday season, the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office has seen an increase in mailbox thefts. It is believed that a majority of the thefts occur overnight and thieves are looking for unchecked and outgoing mail.

“Thieves appear to be taking smaller mail looking for gift cards, checks or cash. The remainder of the stolen mail is later discarded on the side of the road a short distance from where the theft occurred,” according to a press release.

Sheriff Jack Crabtree warns residents to be on the lookout.

“The more citizens we have keeping an eye on suspicious activity, the better our chances will be to catch these thieves,” Crabtree said.

U.S. Postal Service inspectors have a few suggestions to help residents avoid theft.

“Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery. If you won’t be home when the items are expected, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail,” according to a press release.

“If you cannot regularly retrieve your mail promptly, consider installing a lockable mailbox or obtaining a (post office) box.”

The USPS also suggests holding mail while away from homes and contact senders if expected mail doesn’t arrive.

If you believe you are a victim of mail theft or identity theft, contact the Yamhill Sheriff’s Office at 1-503-434-7506.

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