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December 11, 2018 • Headline News
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Packages on the move - so are thieves

Wanda English Burnett

The holiday season is in full swing with packages being criss-crossed across the country with some of those landing right here in Ripley County. Those receiving the packages are excited whether they are a purchase they’ve made, or a present from a friend or loved one from afar. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which is the federal law enforcement arm of the US Postal Service, has been working around the clock to keep the more than 15 billion mail pieces expected to be mailed this holiday season safe.

However, those who are sending and receiving can help make sure the packages are getting where they need to be. The Inspection Service advises everyone to be aware and alert. They have offered the following tips to help:

Tip 1. Don’t leave delivered mail and packages unattended. Just as wallets and purses shouldn’t be left on the front seat of an unlocked car overnight, mail and packages should not be left uncollected in mailboxes or on front porches for any length of time.

Tip 2. Going out of town? Hold mail at the local post office. If you’re planning on being away from home for a few days, instead of risking leaving a package unattended for an extended period of time, take advantage of the USPS Hold Mail service. Letters and packages will be held securely at the local post office until you return.

Tip 3. Plan ahead. Ship using Hold for Pickup. When shipping packages, you can choose the Hold for Pickup option, and the recipients can collect the packages at their local post office. If you’re receiving packages, you can redirect incoming packages to your local post office by selecting Hold for Pickup using USPS Package Intercept
Tip 4. Customize the delivery. If the package doesn’t fit in your mailbox and you won’t be home to receive it, you can provide delivery instructions online and authorize the carrier to leave it in a specified location. Visit, enter the tracking number and select Delivery Instructions.

Tip 5. Secure the shipment using USPS Special Services. Signature Confirmation helps ensure the package ends up in the right hands by requiring a signature at the time of delivery. For the most valuable packages, customers can opt for Registered Mail service. Registered Mail receives special handling from the time it’s mailed until it’s delivered, documenting the chain of custody.

More information that might help is to help the postal service be the eyes and ears outside of their vehicle. If you see a USPS truck or people you don’t know loitering around mailboxes, you can report the activity to your local police department immediately. You can also call the US Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.

If you are a victim of a crime involving the mail, you may submit an online complaint by visiting, and selecting the Postal Inspectors link at the bottom of the page (

About the US Postal Inspection Service:
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. It supports and protects the US Postal Service and its employees, infrastructure, and customers. It enforces the laws that defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use; and it ensures public trust in the mail.

There are over 2,400 postal inspectors, postal police, technical and administrative people spread out over 17 divisions with the national headquarters being in Washington.

Ripley Publishing Company, Inc.
115 S. Washington Street, P.O. Box 158
Versailles, IN 47042

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