MIDDLETON, Wis. -

The Middleton Police Department said it has received several recent reports of theft of mail from mailboxes.

Police said the theft of mail from residential mailboxes is an increasing problem. Criminals use this as a means to obtain a person's identity information and to steal checks and other items of value, police said.

Middleton police gave the following tips to reduce or minimize the problem:

  • Do not leave outgoing mail in your unlocked mailbox
  • Deposit mail in a blue collection box or inside your local post office
  • Don't leave mail in a collection box that is full
  • Make sure your home mailbox is in good condition.
  • Mail that is exposed can be damaged by bad weather and is visible to thieves
  • Promptly pick up your incoming mail after it is delivered
  • Promptly contact the senders if you do not receive credit cards, checks, or other valuable mail
  • Notify the post office and mailers if you change your address.
  • When going on vacation, have the post office hold your mail or have a trusted friend or neighbor pick up your mail after delivery
  • Be observant of activities on your street, including those near your letter carrier, the postal vehicle, residential mailboxes and collection boxes
  • If you see suspicious persons or activity, call 911 while the suspects are still present

Residents with any information about the mail thefts should contact the Middleton Police Department at 608-824-7300.