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Thief Hitting Residential Mailboxes, Homeowners Warned

SOUTHLAKE (CBS 11 NEWS) - Southlake police are warning homeowners about a mail thief. Officials say someone is going around and snatching mail. There have been a number of mailbox thefts in the last week.

Investigators told CBS 11 News that some of the mail was found on a street in nearby North Richland Hills.

"It's really scary it makes you want to get a post office box, because you don't want your mail stolen," said Southlake resident Doug McKelvey. "You don't know what's in there - it could be a check  - it could be a credit card receipt - it could be anything that you have."

McKelvey says someone stole his mail last week. He said he went out to check his box but it was wide open and empty. He says he almost always has something waiting for him.

Police have stepped up enforcement and are warning homeowners.

"If somebody is going by your house and reaching into your mailbox if your vehicle is parked close that's also a crime of opportunity," explained Southlake Assistant Police Chief James Brandon.  "So if you have a computer or iPad laying in your vehicle that becomes something tempting for them to take."

Police recommend that homeowners headed out of town go online and fill out a "vacation house watch" form. Residents can also ask officers to keep an eye on their homes while they are gone.

McKelvey meantime is being proactive, "What I'm going to start doing is monitoring my mail everyday."

Police say their best advice is to get your mail as soon as possible and also to report anything suspicious.

Along with Southlake police the US Postal Inspection is also investigating the thefts.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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