HONOLULU (KHON2) - Thieves are taking extra steps in stealing your mail. They're taking blue collection boxes that are bolted down to the sidewalk.
This happened in Kailua over the weekend. So if you dropped mail off in that mailbox at that time, officials say you should take precautions against identity theft.
"Just about to put it in the mailbox and I go honey, it's not there," said resident Sue White.
She and others are in disbelief after finding out that the blue collection mailbox on Maunawili Road was stolen.
"Pretty hard to believe that someone is really that desperate, that they would take your entire mailbox in the hopes, I guess, for identity theft," White said.
"I don't think that anyone intended that someone would take it. I mean what do you do with a mailbox?" said resident Oz Stender.
The postal service says mail was picked up Saturday afternoon so the mailbox must have been taken late Saturday or Sunday. KHON2 reached out to the U.S. Postal Service inspector who is investigating the theft.
"They obviously took some time. The boxes are secured so they had to be working for a little bit and then they have to have a vehicle big enough so they can place the box in," said U.S. Postal Inspector Jeff Fitch.
He adds that anyone who used that mailbox that weekend should take precautions against identity theft by checking their credit card and bank statements.
"If you notice any unusual transactions two or three weeks from now on your bank statement or your credit card statement give us a call," Fitch said.
In the meantime, residents are hoping that the mailbox is replaced soon. They say they've counted on that mailbox because over the years, they've had problems with thieves breaking into their personal mailboxes.
"We rely on that mailbox so it's a very important mailbox to us. Unfortunately leaving mail in our own mailboxes, if it's something important it might disappear," said White.
This is not the first time a large blue mailbox has been stolen. On August 31, the one outside the Waipahu post office was taken.
Postal service officials told us then that there had been four collection boxes stolen on Oahu in the past year, all in central and west Oahu.
The U.S. Postal Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information. You can call the 24-hour tipline at (877) 876-2455.
Mailbox theft is a federal crime with a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
It's been a little over a year since the
Missing sailor returns to unit