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Mail, Mailboxes Stolen From Concord, NH Homes

CONCORD, N.H. (CBS) --- Police are searching for whoever stole mail from people just before Christmas.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports

Mail, Mailboxes Stolen From NH Homes

Police Lieutenant Timothy O'Malley says sometime Monday night, somebody went through around 100 mailboxes on 15 streets, in some cases, carrying away the whole mailbox.

In some cases, entire mailboxes were stolen--ripped right from their posts.

It happened to Brenda Barth.

"One of our neighbors came by and said you know your mailbox is missing," said Barth.

In other cases, the mail was just taken. That's left many in the neighborhood like Jaime Thomas are wondering if they got all their Christmas cards and gifts.

"I didn't get any mail that day so I don't know," said Thomas. "So I'm really not sure at this point."

Some of the streets in the vandalism spree include Groton Drive, Pekoe Drive, and Pine Crest Circle.

Investigators say the thieves were likely going for cash, checks and gift cards. They don't know how much was taken. The rest of the mail was left on the ground.

"It's hard to tell right now," said Lt. O'Malley. "We're estimating approximately 100 victims as of right now that we know of. It's hard to tell what they would have obtained, hopefully as time moves on the victims will be able to identify what may have been taken."

"I haven't seen anything quite like this right before Christmas, targeting people's mail," O'Malley said.

Brenda Barth has already replaced her mailbox, and is trying to find the Christmas spirit in a very scrooge-like crime.

"Well, with two little kids the way we explained it to them is really that someone who maybe is missing out financially and having some struggles," said Barth. "We're hoping it's not just for fun."

In a statement to WBZ-TV, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service says it is in the preliminary stages of the investigation.

"In light of this situation, I would like to stress that the U.S. Mail remains one of the most economical and secure forms of communication available," said Postal Inspector Bernadette Lundbohm. "Every day, the U.S. Postal Service safely and efficiently delivers millions of checks, money orders, credit cards, and other valuable items to more than 150 million delivery points across the country. Unfortunately, these items of value may also be attractive to thieves. Customers can significantly reduce the chance of being victimized by simply removing mail from their mailbox each day. Just as you wouldn't leave your door unlocked while you're away, or your car door unlocked while you're at work, neither should you allow your mail to accumulate in a mail receptacle at night."

Police say they have lifted physical evidence from some of the mail left in the snow, and that could help solve the crime.

WBZ-TV NH Bureau Chief Michael Rosenfield contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelWBZ4

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