A thief or thieves have smashed into 11 community mailboxes during the last week, stealing mail and destroying several of the boxes beyond repair.
According to, Lori Shewey, Payson Post Office customer service supervisor, there is more than $1,000 in damage to the boxes and an untold loss of mail.
Shewey said one customer, a businesswoman, had been out of town for more than a week and when she returned, there was no mail in her slot.
Thieves are prying the boxes open from the customer side and stealing the mail. The post office in Payson has replaced or repaired the damaged boxes and issued notices (5x8 red card) to the boxholders that they may have been a victim of mail theft.
Shewey said a box located on Dealers Choice Road, east of Star Valley, was broken into Jan. 16, replaced placed, and then broken into again Jan. 23.
Other mailboxes broken into were on S. Western at Remuda, Whitehouse at Graff, Lion Springs Road, 1100 block of E. Cedar (twice), 1200 E. Cedar, 300 S. Bentley, the Moose Lodge in Star Valley, S. Promontory Way, and one located at Granite Dells and Sutton.
The post office is offering some tips to avoid being a victim of mail theft:
Do not leave mail in your community mailbox overnight. This is usually when thieves attack.
Deposit mail at a post office or blue Postal Service collection box.
If you see suspicious activity around your mailbox, call the Payson Police at 474-5177 or Gila County Sheriff's Department at 447-2208.
If you are going to be out of town, call the post office and have your mail held, or have a trusted friend pick it up for you.
The U.S. Postal Service is offering a reward up to $10,000 for information and services leading to the arrest and conviction of any person for mail theft.
Mail theft is a federal felony punishable by up to $250,000 in fines and five years in prison, or both.
Shewey said the Postal Service is asking all its customers to keep an eye out for anyone suspicious around the mail boxes as at least one of the boxes was broken into during daylight hours.
For further information, contact Shewey at 474-2972.