ATLANTA (CBS46) -- As expected this time of year, mail thefts have increased this holiday season as more people are ordering online and having gifts and packages shipped to their houses and apartments.
Videos continue to pop up online and on social media seemingly daily showing mailboxes rummaged through and mailrooms littered with broken mail boxes and illegally opened packages.
“I go downstairs. It's multiple mailboxes that are just cut just pried through and opened, and I was just, my heart dropped,” said Atlanta resident Brittany Taylor, who walked into her mailroom to look for an Amazon package that was scheduled to be delivered only to see her's and her neighbor's mailboxes forced open. “I don’t even know what was taken, really, everything was just gone through. It was awful.”
Taylor is not alone. In Dekalb County, the East Lake community is being terrorized by a string of mail thefts that have continuously occurred over the last several weeks, spiking the week of Thanksgiving.
Multiple streets in the area have been targeted already, leaving neighbors wondering which streets are next.
“You see everyone’s mail on the ground and you see all the mailboxes open and you say ‘ok they hit us last night,” said Suzanne Brown, who caught someone going through her mailbox earlier this season and sounded the car alarm to scare them off. “With COVID, nobody wants to shop in person anymore so we’re all shopping online and all of a sudden our stuff isn’t making it here.”
In the East Lake case, APD is investigating and currently working to identify a suspect in the case; reviewing ring doorbell footage and pictures from the area.
In early November at the beginning of the holiday season, APD released tips for preventing Porch Pirates and package thefts:
- Schedule delivery for when you are home
- Deliver packages to leasing office/place of work
- Require signature for delivery of packages
- Install locks on mailboxes/package cages
APD is currently working with USPS, FedEx and other shipping services to ensure packages are safely and effectively delivered across Atlanta this holiday season.
“Check your mail before they check yours,” said Taylor.