An inspector with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) is now embedded in the Bellevue Police Department to help crack down on mail and package theft. This partnership comes as Bellevue has seen a 72% increase in mail theft reports in November 2020 compared to 2019, and the trend is continuing into December. Additionally, package theft reports more than doubled in November, with 19 reported.
“Unfortunately, the actual numbers are probably much higher because people often don’t report the thefts,” says Major Andrew Popochock. “We hope that by working closely with the postal inspector, we’ll increase awareness, safety precautions, and arrests across Bellevue and the Eastside,” Popochock added.
The postal inspector is currently coordinating with BPD officers to investigate cases and respond when officers find crimes in progress. The USPIS is also deploying a Bait Parcel Operation across the Eastside. During this operation, detectives place trackers inside bait packages, and investigators follow the box and arrest the porch pirates in possession of the stolen package. The USPIS plans to continue this throughout the holiday season. Stressing the importance of reporting mail and package theft, the inspector continuously analyzes the data to identify patterns and links to Bellevue cases.
Here’s what you can to help prevent being a mail or package theft victim –
- Promptly pick up your mail
- Deposit mail close to pick up time
- Sign up for Informed Delivery
- Inquire about overdue mail
- Don’t send cash
- Use Hold for Pickup
- Arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail
- Request signature confirmation
- Designate a delivery location for packages
- Sign up for a package tracking service
- Promptly report any theft