The U.S. Postal Service dedicates a significant amount of funding and effort to combat mail theft, but there is only so much it can do. Moreover, homeowners still have concerns regarding the possibility of mailbox vandalism. With a secure mailbox, many of these problems become far smaller risks, and the end result is financial savings and peace of mind for the typical homeowner. Beyond that, a more secure mailbox also makes a stylish addition to your front yard, boosting curb appeal and home value.
Mail theft and identity theft
The Beverly Press of Los Angeles, California, reported that mail theft is an issue in many cities throughout the U.S. but is often difficult to track. The USPS does not compile statistics concerning localized instances of mail theft but did note that 1,400 cases were investigated nationwide in 2015. These investigations resulted in more than 2,300 arrests and about 2,000 convictions, but the fact remains that many instances of mail theft go unpunished.
Mail theft is a crime of opportunity, made easier when packages are left unsecured.
Mail theft is a crime of opportunity often perpetrated by criminals looking for an easy score. Small packages and letters that may contain cash or checks are the most commonly targeted, potentially resulting in minor financial losses and inconvenience for the victim. However, a much more troubling outcome of mail theft is identity theft. The USPS Inspection Service reported in 2016, more than 9.9 million Americans fell prey to identity thieves, leading to cumulative losses of approximately $5 billion. Fortunately, only 4 percent of these crimes were found to occur as a result of mail theft, but the USPS still assumes that even this figure is lower than the actual number of identify thefts that go unnoticed and unreported.
Perhaps the most foolproof way to prevent identity theft through the mail is with a secure mailbox. Typical mailboxes are either completely unsecured or use security methods that are easily defeated. A System Pavers secure mailbox is not only made from stone, but will also utilize a locking system that renders it almost impenetrable. With the use of a secure mailbox, small parcels and letters will stay safe from prying eyes, cutting down on the risk of mail theft and identity theft simultaneously.
The stones offer more than peace of mind, though. The natural hues and unique design add an air of elegance to your front yard that coincides with the rest of your outdoor living space while boosting curb appeal.
A less frightening but perhaps more frustrating mailbox related crime is vandalism. The practice of smashing mailboxes has long been considered an innocuous offense carried out by rebellious teenagers. However, the USPS actually considers mailboxes to be federal property, and thus any destructive act against them is punishable as a federal crime. Vandals could face fines of $250,000 and even a prison sentence if they are caught taking a swing at a mailbox.
Despite the tough stance taken by federal officials, mailbox vandalism remains all too common and costly for victims. Vandals are rarely caught, and even if they are, homeowners must still bear the cost of replacing the mailbox. Here again, the strength of a reinforced secure mailbox is obvious. Stone mailboxes are virtually indestructible by any means, let alone the average baseball bat. When homeowners choose a stone mailbox over a conventional sheet metal or aluminum model, they are almost guaranteed the peace of mind knowing that any prospective vandal will be passing right by their home. This can lead to a small investment that actually pays off, especially since stone mailboxes will also do a superb job of standing up to severe weather, accidental damage or just about anything else thrown their way.
A secure mailbox is more than just a well-designed holding area for letters and packages. Choosing System Pavers for your newest mailbox ensures peace of mind along with a custom design, a winning combination for any homeowner.