Wilsonville residents report preponderance of mailbox thefts
When Wilsonville resident Mark Jordan arrived home from work on a day in late July, he found an unsettling surprise — over a half dozen mailboxes at his condominium complex including his own flung open with contents missing. Immediately, he worried that personal information about his 1-year-old daughter had been taken.
"I was shocked and very upset," he said.
Jordan later determined that no important documents were likely stolen, but with important documents like unemployment assistance checks and tax returns arriving, thefts can lead to serious problems for victims.
"Every box was completely empty. They probably got some junk mail. Who knows how much important info they received from other people," Jordan said.
Wilsonville residents have posted on social media and informed police about a string of mailbox thefts in Town Center and possibly other areas of Wilsonville recently.
The weekly Wilsonville police log indicates that mailbox thefts were reported on July 27 near the 29700 block of Southwest Courtside Drive and at the 7800 block of SW Grass Court on July 30. Wilsonville residents have also reported thefts in other areas of town on social media.
Jordan filed a police report following the incident but said he received no response. He also contacted the United States Postal Service and asked his local homeowners association to install security cameras to no avail.
"I was thinking of taking it into my own hands and setting up my own camera. I'm still looking into that," Jordan said.
Brian Coleman, a federal agent with the United States Postal Inspection Service, said he was aware of the recent thefts and that they're being investigated, though he declined to provide more specifics. He encouraged residents who experience mail theft to call the inspection service at 877-876-2455.
Wilsonville Police Chief Rob Wurpes said there isn't much the police department can do if the complainant doesn't have any tips that can lead officers to the culprit.
"Typically we get a call in and say 'I'm missing this.' We get so many of those we don't have the capability of making a detective case out of each one," Wurpes said.
Wurpes recommended those receiving government checks to set up direct deposit accounts. Ernie Swanson, a spokesperson for USPS, advised that people remove mail as quickly as possible after it's delivered.
"If you know your carrier is coming at 10 you should be watchful and grab it before it disappears," he said.
Coleman added that people should put their mail on hold when they go on vacation and recommended they also purchase locking mailboxes.
Jordan said he was astonished to find posts about other mail thefts in Wilsonville recently. And he thinks the community should take the recent incidents as a cause for vigilance.
"I think it's important the whole community starts paying more attention to mailboxes and if they see anything sketchy they should report it," Jordan said.
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