TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Two incidents of mail theft in two East Texas cities have law enforcement warning people to watch out for potential identity theft.
Police say it happens often during the holiday season, during the highest volume of postal traffic. The most recent incident happened right in front of a post office.
White Oak police responded around 7 Wednesday morning to the post office on a theft report.
“We found the door to one of the large blue post office mail boxes had been pried open, and the contents had been emptied,” says White Oak police lieutenant Brannon Robertson.
None of the packages or letters have been found. The is theft unnerving to local residents.
"It's scary you know, because anybody can go through your accounts," says Pedro Delgado.
“It’s a scary thing to think about because they’re after identity to steal your identity,” says area resident Larry Watkins.
But there's a bigger objective.
"They're going to be looking for the obvious. Check , cash. Gifts that can fit in the mailbox. One of the more common trends right now is they're looking for identity paperwork. They can steal your identity and create accounts. It destroys your credit," Robertson says.
Similar thefts reported in Longview have been turned over to postal inspectors.
"Have had a call from a business in Longview, they had the mailbox in front of their establishment broken into," says Robertson.
Police advise those effected take steps to stop payment on checks, and notify banks if account numbers are at risk of being compromised.
Mail theft is a federal crime.
White Oak police ask that anyone witnessing mail theft report it immediately.