FedEx says it expects to ship a record-breaking 317 million packages between Black Friday and Christmas Eve this year.

However, people expecting packages have to be on the lookout for thieves.  Police said mail theives recently broke into a couple of mailboxes near N. Durango Drive and W. Cheyenne Avenue.

Residents in the area are fed up.

“I came out one evening, and the bottom box was broken, as well as the outgoing mail,” said Krista Crotty, victim of mail theft.

Crotty says she didn’t know what to think when she found out someone had tampered with the mailbox in her neighborhood.

However, after going nearly two weeks without receiving mail, her questions turned into frustration.

It was a letter carrier who explained to Crotty why she wasn’t getting her mail.

“If the box is broken — the box will not be serviced.  About two days later, there was a yellow piece of tape across it that said ‘out of service,'” Crotty said.

The U.S. Postal Service eventually replaced the box, but it was two weeks after Crotty noticed the problem.  The postal service said it does take one to two weeks to fix a broken box.
Crotty said when she went to the post office; she learned that people from other neighborhoods were having similar issues.

“They had to open a secondary window just so people could pick up their mail, Crotty said. 

However, she said the line was so long and filled with people whose mailbox had been broken into; she still ended up having to wait three and a half hours.

A representative of the U.S. Postal Service says busted mailboxes are not an uncommon sight around the valley.  In fact, USPS along with Metro expects to see an increase in thefts through the holiday season.

“Obviously around the holidays, we’re more concerned because there are more cards going through the mail, there are also more gift cards and more cash,” said Andrea Avery, United States Postal Service.

Postal employees say checking your mail every day is the best way to keep from falling victim to mail thieves.

“If it’s not there, they can’t take it,” Avery said.

Some other tips include checking your mailbox before it gets dark because the postal service says most thefts happen after dark.  Also, if you’re going to be away from home for a few days or longer, have someone you check your mailbox for you.  You can also have the post office hold your mail for you.

The Postal Service expects to deliver more than 15 billion pieces of mail, including packages between now and Christmas.  That’s a 10.5 percent increase from last year.