Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Mail Theft is a Serious Offense


You may not be the only one waiting for your mailman to deliver your mail each day. Mail thieves are looking out for the mailman and waiting to steal your mail, too. The United States Postal service handles millions of pieces of mail each day. This high volume of mail gives thieves the opportunity to steal millions of pieces of mail each day, too. Mail theft is a serious offense. If you have been charged with mail theft, you should contact a criminal defense attorney.

Reasons for Stealing Mail

Mail theft happens when an individual steals mail that does not belong to him or her. These unscrupulous persons steal mail for a variety of reasons that may include:

  • Credit Card Applications

  • Checks or Money orders

  • Banks Statements

  • Prescription drugs

  • Personal Identifying Information

How Thieves Steal Mail

Thieves steal from postal collection boxes, apartment mailbox panels, or neighborhood delivery and collection boxes at residences. Thieves often pry open mailboxes inside the lobby of post offices and multiple-slot postal lock boxes in neighborhoods. Thieves may break into a postal delivery truck to counterfeit postal-box keys or steal mail that has not been delivered.

Protecting Yourself from Mail Theft

The United States Postal Service recommends that people make it more difficult for thieves to steal their mail and offer the following suggestions:

  • Do not send cash through the mail

  • Immediately remove delivered mail from your mailbox

  • Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail when you are on vacation

  • Request the post office to hold your mail when you are away for a long time

  • Deposit mail in a mail slot at your local post office

  • Start a community watch program in your neighborhood

Punishment for Mail Theft

Because the United States Postal Service is a federal agency, mail theft is considered a federal crime. According to the United States Code 18 Section 1708, federal mail theft is a felony. Being charged with stealing mail could land you in federal prison for up to five years and cause you to pay a fine up to $250,000. If you have been charged with mail theft, you should contact a criminal defense attorney who can create a solid defense.

In addition, you could face other charges depending on the nature of the theft. If personal identifying information was stolen and utilized, the perpetrator could face an identity theft conviction. Personal identifying information may include the following:

  • Credit Card Account Information

  • Social Security Numbers

  • Tax Identification Numbers

  • Driver's license numbers

  • Bank Account Information

  • Date of Birth

  • Addresses and Telephone Numbers

  • Employee or School ID Numbers

  • Passport Identification Information

Legal Help for Mail Theft Accusations

If you are charged with mail theft, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney. The consequences can be devastating and costly. Plus, you could face federal prison time for your actions. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.