Given the overall financial health of the United States Postal Service (USPS), I'll admit to finding it a bit odd that the USPS would be discouraging the use of their mailboxes, but that's exactly what's happening.

It's not because they don't have the funds or personnel to maintain all those blue mailboxes that cover Illinois and the rest of the country--the reason is because of bad behavior by some members of the population.

Brand new blue mailbox in a sunny morning day
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The USPS Says That Thieves Are Targeting Those Blue Drop Boxes, And They're Even Monitoring Pick-Up Times For A Better Haul When They Break In

We've been warned for quite a while now that while leaving your outgoing mail in your own mailbox is very convenient, it can lead to that mail being swiped by anyone who wants to open your mailbox door, grab your stuff, and go.

Now, the message is that even the blue drop-off bins could present a problem, because criminals are breaking into the blue boxes after the last mail collection of the day, on Sundays, and even on federal holidays.

Getty Images
Getty Images

What If All You Have In There Are Some Bills And A Birthday Card?

Your bills and the occasional birthday card are definitely appealing to blue box raiding criminals, because they can take the information off your bills and use it to compromise your identity, and if those birthday cards happen to have a check inside, the bad guys will "wash" the check(s), change the information on them, and cash them themselves.

So where should you take things to be safely mailed?


The most secure way to send mail is through the local Post Office retail counter. If that is not feasible, the next safest way is to use the inside collection slots that deposit mail directly into the Post Office.

You can also use a retail mailing service, or inside-wall drop slots to keep the thieves' hands off of your stuff, instead of having this sort of thing happen:

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