ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Mail stolen from four St. Johns County homes this week was found in two storm drains on Garrison Drive in a neighborhood off Country Road 210, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said someone walking through the South Hampton neighborhood happened to look down in a drain and see discarded mail.
The witness called the Sheriff’s Office and deputies climbed down into the drain to collect the mail, which turned out to be from three different addresses.
They also found mail from another address in a drain just down the street.
Resident Harold Leach said he normally doesn’t think twice about getting his mail, but now he's keeping a close eye on it each day after his mail was found down the drain.
Leach said he watched as deputies pulled the mail out of the drain Tuesday and, not long after, one of them knocked on his door and said that some of the mail they found was his.
“I was mad, but what are you (going to) do?” Leach said.
The Sheriff’s Office said Leach was one of four homeowners in the neighborhood who had mail stolen.
Detectives don’t know who did it, but they are working with the U.S. Postal Service, because mail theft is a federal offense.
Investigators said they do not believe any financial information was stolen, which was a relief for Leach.
“We haven’t had any problems in this neighborhood,” Leach said. “It’s a great neighborhood. I think it’s a one-time thing, myself. I really don’t believe it was malicious but anyhow, I hope they stop.”
He said he’ll likely be greeting his mail carrier much more frequently in the coming days.
The Sheriff’s Office said it's good to know what time your mail carrier comes every day.
If you’re not able to greet them, get your mail out as soon as you can after it's delivered.
Also, if you have an important document to mail, don’t leave it in your mailbox with the red flag up. Instead, take it to a local post office or drop box.
Another way to cut down on mail thefts is to sign up for informed mail delivery from the post office by visiting the USPS website. This allows you to digitally look at your mail and manage any packages that you're expecting.
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