KENNEWICK, Wash.-- It's that time of year when people are buying holiday gifts and shipping them off to friends and family.
Mail is piling up in people's mailboxes and on their doorsteps. Thieves know they can count on this time of year to find valuables to steal without even entering your house.
Kennewick Police say there are things you can do to avoid losing your mail.
For instance, don't leave your mail in your mailbox or outside. Check for deliveries every day and bring it in right away.
Police also say, talk to your neighbors to keep an eye out for packages that you're expecting or might draw attention to your doorstep.
"Mail theft is a crime of opportunity. If you leave your mail in your mailbox for several days and especially around the holiday time, people are sending gifts, they're sending money the cards, things like that and people take advantage of that," said Cpl. Dronen, Kennewick Police Department.
Cpl. Dronen also said in the past two days they've had five reports of mail theft. And just a few days ago they found stolen mail dropped on the street and returned it to it's owner.
The United States Postal Service is expecting a 20% increase from last year in holiday mail. From Christmas cards, letters and packages adding up to around 18 billion pieces of mail. All the more reason to watch your mailbox.