Mail theft is a costly and serious issue that can plague everyone. This type of theft can range from ordinary mail being stolen from curbside mailboxes to package theft. In some cases, private information can be stolen and compromised as well, which can cost companies a good deal of money. Whether a property is private, residential, or commercial, all owners will have to take steps to prevent theft.
In the US, package theft alone has cost customers over 5 billion dollars in 2020. And mail theft can lead to more than just packages going missing, too: identity theft can also be an issue.
However, there are ways to prevent mail and package theft no matter which type of property and mailbox setup you have, whether that be a private property, apartment community, or a commercial complex. The good news is that some of the best ways to fight mail theft lies in the mailboxes themselves.
Preventing Theft of Regular Mail
Regular mail includes the type of mail that fits into a normal curbside mailbox or a customer compartment in a centralized mail system, such as 4C horizontal mailboxes. This can include magazines, letters, bills, and credit card statements.
Theft of mail is a federal offense and should be reported to the authorities. To prevent further mail theft, property managers can assess whether the current mail setup for a commercial property, campus, or residential community is providing enough security.
If the property in question uses curbside mailboxes, then upgrading to locking models that are made of more sturdy materials, such as steel, may solve the mail theft issue if it is a problem in the area. With these types of curbside boxes, only the customer can unlock it to remove its contents, and mail is delivered by the USPS through a flap or a slit.
Centralized mail delivery is another excellent solution to preventing mail theft. Most commonly, 4C horizontal mailboxes and freestanding 4C mailboxes are used when mail delivery needs to be in one central place. These mailboxes consist of several to dozens of customer compartments, each one locking, and are made of sturdy materials that stand up to harsh weather as well as tampering. Horizontal units are installed against walls or recessed into them, and freestanding units are installed on concrete and work well outdoors.
Not only will switching to locked curbside mailboxes or centralized, 4C mail delivery help to prevent mail, but it will also help to prevent identity theft as well. More secure mail delivery will also help to retain tenants for residential and commercial properties.
Package theft from porches and other open locations is a common problem, and with the increase in package delivery in recent years, it is only getting worse. This can be especially true in apartment complexes and communities where parcels are left in front of doors and on porches. Even commercial tenants can face theft when packages are left in central lobbies or other unsecure locations.
Parcel lockers work well with centralized mail delivery, and some setups include them because the USPS requires one per every ten customer units, if they’re going to deliver to those mailboxes. But even if parcel lockers are already present, more may be needed to meet the package needs of a property.
Extra parcel lockers can be ordered in a variety of sizes to accommodate both large and small packages. The good news is that they can often be mounted or recessed beside existing, centralized mailboxes. This is true whether the mailboxes are outdoor, freestanding mailboxes or horizontal mailboxes that are in lobbies or kiosks. The setup of centralized mail systems can allow for additional parcel lockers to be added over time.
Lone parcel lockers can also be purchased to stand outside of mail rooms or office buildings. They can also help to prevent package theft for most regular-sized packages.
With parcel lockers, customers receive a key to access their packages at their convenience, so packages are not left to sit out in an unsecured location for any amount of time.
Protecting Sensitive Mail
Of course, many companies and commercial properties must deal with sensitive mail and documents, even within an organization. This is especially true for some offices, government facilities, and businesses who deal with patients’ health information. The need for such information to be private is vital. In health care settings, HIPAA violations can be very costly.
Secure collection mailboxes can be used to deliver this sort of mail between employees of one complex or commercial property. These mailboxes usually consist of a flap, where mail is inserted into a safe compartment that is locking. Only those with a key will be able to access it.
These types of mailboxes come in wall-mounted and freestanding models, and are most typically sold for private use (within an organization or a residential property.) Most don’t receive USPS delivery.
Data distribution boxes are also an excellent choice for those exchanging important documents. These mailboxes tend to be smaller than collection mailboxes, and can stack on top of one another. These boxes consist of slots where documents can be inserted, and are also locking. Multiple data distribution boxes can even be mounted on ladders to serve a larger company or organization.
Of course, other things can help to keep mail and important documents secure, too. Switching to a centralized mail setup is a great way to keep mail secure. Ensuring that setup is in a centralized location that’s easy to access will also help to deter vandals. Good lighting is also a must for both safety and security, and lighting can be purchased for some freestanding, 4C mailbox models or installed yourself. Clubhouses are also a great way to keep mailboxes in a sheltered place that can be easily monitored.
Secure Your Mail Today
Everyone needs good mail security, but that’s even more true if you manage an entire community, an organization, or a commercial property. To get started with preventing vandalism and theft, contact us today and we can help you get started.