COLBERT, Wash. – As you await your tax return, it may be a good idea to keep an extra close eye on your mailbox. Thieves tend to target those return checks, and in extreme cases, they can be a tool for criminals to steal your identity.
One area that's dealt with ongoing struggles over mailbox security is the Greenbluff farm area of Colbert, and in last month, two people had theirs blown up with cherry bombs.
"The message we got on our email list was somebody's mailbox had been blown up during the night, so it kind of got everybody's ears up to pay attention to what was going on," said Al Schriver, who coordinates the neighborhood watch in the Valley Prairie area just outside the popular Greenbluff farms.
Schriver said they've also had reports of suspicious people in the area, and one way they're fighting back is through an e-mail alert people who live in the area can sign up for. That was the rural neighborhood could communicate instantly, if they see any red flags.
"It's come in handy a couple times where somebody saw a suspicious vehicle, where one person saw it and 10 minutes later somebody else saw it," he added.
He says tips like that have even lead to the apprehension of at least one person in the last year.
If you're worried about the safety of your mailbox – especially as tax return season draws near – it may be a good idea to get one with a lock, or even get a private box through the Postal Service.
If you see any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, call Crime Check at 456-2233.