NORTH COAST- It is the busiest mailing season of the year and deputies say everyone should be extra cautious of thieves,
"Theft in mail is a common occurrence unfortunately and it happens year around, however during the holiday season we see an increase."
It has already hit two neighborhoods this past weekend in Humboldt County,
"One in McKinleyville near the Hunts Drive area, also in the Pine Hill area near Nancy Court, we had several mailboxes that were rummaged through."
Deputies believe thieves are looking money, blank checks, packages and credit card information, and in most cases the person does not even know there package has been stolen.
"If you have not received your package in a period of time and you know something is coming notify the carrier whether that be the US Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS and see if there is a tracking number on the package," said Lt. Knight.
While tracking packages and trying to be home when they arrive cuts down on your chances of being victimized, Lt. Knight said some thieves are too quick to stop,
"Sometimes suspects and thieves will follow the mail carrier and watch them actually put the package up on the persons front porch."
If you are going to mail anything of high value deputies suggest sending it out in a secure location, that way thieves ca not open your mailbox and steal your items,
"Thieves will steal mail because many times they will find gift cards in the mail that they can turn around and get money for. Cash is another item they will be looking for. If you are mailing a card do not mail cash, mail a check instead,” he said.
If you are going out of town but are expecting a package, there are a few ways you can protect yourself.
Lt. Knight said, "Do not leave the package on the front door overnight, lengthy periods of time, and try to have your package picked up as soon as possible."
If you come across a thief, Lt. Knight said the license plate number is key,
"That is very important for us for follow up, be good observers if you see suspicious activity, description of suspect, description of the vehicle, and license plate."