Think your mail is safe from thieves in your mailbox? Officers say think again

ARAB, Ala. -- You think your mail is safe in your mailbox, but law enforcement officers say that's not always the case. In fact, stealing from a mailbox is even easier than stealing a package from a doorstep.

"Every year it is a repetitive crime that we try to warn people about, to regularly check your mail, be aware of when your packages have been delivered," Arab Police Chief Ed Ralston said, "Theft of mail out of mailboxes is a very, very big crime. It's so easy to do and it's so hard to catch people because it only takes a second."

Ralston says small packages that fit into a mailbox are a target. "Probably the biggest thing are the checks that people don't have auto deposited and probably the credit cards. On another note you have birthday cards that are sent from family members, things like that, that might have a check in there," Ralston explained.

It's a crime that only takes moments. "I believe, and we do here, if it's in your mailbox it's probably an easier crime because it only takes three or four seconds to stop, retrieve that package, and be gone," Ralston said.

Have someone check your  mail if you know you're expecting something valuable, and have them take in any packages. If you're going out-of-town, have a neighbor or a family member take in your mail for you. Unfortunately, officers say it's hard to catch the thieves because usually there aren't any surveillance cameras or witnesses.