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Mail theft cases seeing an uptick across Houston area
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Mail theft is certainly not a novel crime. Yet, it can be one of the most disheartening ones when more Houstonians are relying upon mail for everything from packages to mail-in ballots during the pandemic.

In Houston, authorities have seen an increase in mail theft cases, according to the Harris County District Attorney's office.

"I've seen personally an uptick in those types of cases in my own docket," Harris County Assistant District Attorney James Hu told KRPC.

Hu is currently overseeing 60 to 70 cases in his court alone. But it's more than cases of stolen letters and checks. Mail theft crime is now taking a violent turn after U.S. postal workers have been robbed during their mail routes by armed men.

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In two recent cases in Harris County, prosecutors say two men were arrested in separate suspected mail theft incidents. According to the District Attorney's office, one suspect held up a female letter carrier a few weeks ago in southeast Houston to steal her set of universal keys to community mailboxes.

Mail theft is also plaguing the Houston suburb of Friendswood. On Thursday, Friendswood police issued a warning on Facebook to all who dropped off their mail at Friendswood USPS outside collection box on October 9. The suspected thief actually pried open the mailbox with a crowbar.

"If you deposited mail containing checks into the outside mail collection box....you should check your bank accounts, verify the amount of the check withdrawals and monitor the clearance of those checks," Friendswood police stated in the warning.

Federal investigators have offered $50,000 for information leading to the arrest in two other Houston-area mail theft incidents, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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