San Antonio Police Chief Bill McManus says his officers are getting a handle on 'cluster mailbox theft,' which has become a major issue in many neighborhoods, especially on the north and northwest sides of the city, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"There has been a 24% decrease in mail theft in 2018, and those numbers are pretty apparent," McManus said.
Northwest side Councilman Greg Brockhouse, who has been pushing new steps against mail theft, praised the SAPD action, and said he is also discussing the possibility of building code changes, to 'harden' the cluster mailboxes to make theft more difficult.
Mailbox theft has become a serious problem due largely to e-commerce, which means more cash, checks, and credit card information is being sent through the mail. Also, Internet-enabled identity theft has become a serious problem, and enough information to steal a person's identity can be found in their mail.
McManus says jurisdictional disputes between the mailboxes, which are technically federal property, and the contents of the mail, are also being ironed out.
State Rep. Ina Minjares (D-San Antonio) has introduced a bill in the current session of the Legislature to clarify that theft of mail is a state offense, and giving local police jurisdiction over it.
PHOTO: Police Chief McManus explains his department's anti mail theft effort to City Council Public Safety Committee