U.S. Postal Service inspectors are warning people about a spike in mail thefts from postal trucks in San Jose.
There was a string of break-ins last summer, but the problem has escalated, officials say.
The latest theft occurred on Impala Drive in San Jose last Thursday. Postal inspectors say the number of postal truck break-ins in San Jose has tripled compared to last year.
As resident Reed Kappen checked the mailbox at his home, he's more concerned about what didn't arrive than what did. Kappen lives just a few blocks away from where someone broke into a mail truck on Nov. 21.
"I have my property tax bill; that's important," Kappen said. "And I'm expecting credit card applications, and I'm watching for bills."
The U.S. Postal Service recently sent out 150 letters to customers notifying them that their mail may have been stolen from a postal truck parked on Fifth Street, near downtown.
Inspector Jeff Fitch says the number of postal truck break-ins in San Jose jumped from five last year to 16 so far this year. Many of the crimes happened withn a 1-mile radius of the station near Saint James Park in downtown.
"Check your credit card for any activity you did not make, and contact us," Fitch said. "If we know where the suspect purchased something, that information we can use to help identify who these individuals are."
The thieves are breaking into the back of the trucks while the carrier is out delivering mail, Fitch said.
Postal officials are looking at security upgrades that make it harder to break into the trucks. Some people, however, have said they've seen some postal trucks left open while deliveries were made.