Why is there a red flag on mailboxes? These days, it’s to alert thieves that there’s something to steal.
Unable to get to the post office, the other day I shoved a bill and a Netflix disk into my suburban mailbox and raised the flag to alert the mail carrier that there was outgoing mail. At the time, I knew it was a stupid thing to do, but there’s the matter of convenience.
As far as I know, the mail was picked up and is on its way to wherever it needs to go, but in this age of concern about electronic break-ins, this — the mailbox — remains one of the easiest ways to lose your money and identity.
A story in Maplewood today makes that point perfectly clear.
Bee Vang, 26, and Danah Vang, 20, both of St. Paul, have been arrested by Maplewood police after they allegedly tried to cash someone else’s check.
When police searched their car, they found W-2 statements, credit cards, and checks apparently stolen from mailboxes in Maplewood, St. Paul, Woodbury, North St. Paul, White Bear Lake, Oakdale, and Gem Lake. The intended recipients may not yet know that their mail was stolen.
In its news release today, Maplewood police offered several strategies for avoiding the problem, not the least of which is don’t leave outgoing mail in your mailbox. It might not be a bad idea for the postal service to begin refusing to pick up mail at people’s homes.