FEDERAL WAY -- A string of bold mail thefts have postal inspectors trying to track down the criminals and the victims.
A Federal Way Post Office on Pacific Highway South was targeted twice this month. Thieves broke into the facility late December 10 or early December 11. They pried open lock boxes, stole outgoing mail from a back room and tampered with the drive-by drop boxes outside.
The facility is equipped with security cameras, and Postal Inspector Jerry Styers said he and his team are tracking leads that will hopefully lead them to the criminals. But they need help identifying all of the victims.
"If you think you've been a victim, we have two really good inspectors who are following up on this and they'd like to help you get your mail," Styers said.
Styers said anyone who dropped off letters or packages on December 10 should check to see if their mail made it to its desired location.
The break-in has some customers fed up.
"Honestly, it's appalling to tell you the truth," said customer Brandy Lukyanoe. "This is the time of giving, families looking out for other people, and I think it's appalling that we have to worry about stuff like that."
While there have been several cases of mail being stolen in recent weeks, Styers doesn't believe this is a growing crime.
"We haven't seen more break-ins in Seattle or anything like that," he said. "But when people want something badly enough they're going to find a way to get it."
To protect yourself, whether your mail's delivered to a lock box or to your house, make sure you collect it daily and put a hold on delivery if you're out of town.
Styers said his team is also stepping up their security efforts and will no longer offer 24-hour lobby access at the Federal Way location.
And if you think you've been a victim of mail theft, you can report it to postal inspectors here.