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> Reporting Mail Theft
If you live
in Oakland's Montclair area here's a handy guide on what to do if you
see a theft in process, or feel you are a victim of mail theft:
The MSIC wants to know about each and every incidence of mail
theft that occurs in our neighborhood. Follow the Reporting Procedures
above, and then, because follow-through by the USPS and Oakland
Police has been spotty due to limited resources, report the details
on our Report Mail Theft Form.
This will help us ensure that mail theft and identity theft crimes
receive appropriate recognition along with other crime in Oakland.
The MSIC does
not share any personal information without your permission. We may
use data supplied to help the USPS and the OPD track trends and
patterns of thefts.
some common questions (and answers) regarding reporting of mail
would I know if I’d had mail stolen?
- You might
see all the mailbox doors wide open. For some thieves, this is
their “calling card.” Report this immediately as a suspected theft.
- You may
discover mail you were expecting never arrived, and after confirming
with the sender it was mailed, you suspect theft. While this may
turn out to be misdirected rather than stolen mail, report this
as a suspected theft.
- You go to
pick up your mail well past the delivery schedule, and your box
is empty. You check again early in the morning…still empty. It’s
not a holiday. You talk to your neighbors, and their boxes too
were empty. Report this immediately as a suspected theft.
every complaint to the USPS followed up by the Postal Inspectors?
No. There are not enough Postal Inspectors to follow each and every
complaint. However, the USPS enters every complaint into a database,
and active investigations could be triggered by any part of the
information you provide.
The inspectors are looking for information patterns used to catch
the major criminals, or to find gangs of mail and identity thieves.
They have been quite successful in the past in stopping the majority
of mail theft and identity theft that has been reported in our area.
reporting a theft to the USPS, is there any way to get feedback
about the immediate pursuit or the eventual outcome?
Not at this time, but you can watch newspapers and communications
from our District 4 office, OPD
and the MSIC for general feedback.
does the Oakland Police Department (OPD) respond to 911 reports
of mail theft?
They will respond to a 911 call of a mail theft in progress. Provide
as much information as you can: name of the suspect, license plate
of any vehicle involved, address of crime , etc, If you have personally
watched the suspect steal mail, they will take a report and possibly
pursue the case. If you have less than the above, they will forward
the case to the USPS. This includes ongoing fraud or ongoing identity
every complaint to the OPD followed up?
No, but every complaint is entered into the database, and
active pursuit of a case could be triggered by the dollar amount
at stake, indication of a trend, connection with another case, or
evidence that a ring is at work.
all OPD cases turned over to the USPS?
They should be, but they are not always, and therefore OPD numbers
are not always in agreement with USPS.
role is the MSIC playing in making reporting a theft easier and
We have been:
- Working with
OPD and USPS to Improve measurement, tracking and analysis of
- Working to
resolve gaps in process between OPD and USPS
in developing cases, under supervision of OPD/USPS
kind of data does the USPS provide on reported cases of mail theft?
The USPS provides some data on reported cases of mail theft,
but they are, in our opinion, not representative of the actual amount
of mail theft going on in our area.