Pile of stolen mail found in Kneeland indicates larger mail theft problem


HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. - Arcata resident Jason Barnes was riding his motorcycle with a friend along Kneeland Road in Kneeland when he came upon a pile of what he thought was garbage near the junction between Kneeland Road and Butler Creek Road. 

"I looked a little closer and saw that it was actually a pile of mail," Barnes said. "I noticed it was a range from Fieldbrook, Dows Prairie Road and Fickle Hill."

Barnes said the pile had a few hundred pieces of mail in it. He was able to return some prescription medicine he found to its rightful owner, but with only a motorcycle, he had to leave the rest of the pile behind. So he decided to post a photo of the pile to a community Facebook page.

"It absolutely blew up," Barnes said. "Within a half-hour there were already a hundred comments."

Several people posted that they have also been victims of mail theft. With the holidays here, hoards of people have been taking to social media to share stories of packages being stolen from their doorsteps.

The post lead to the notification of the Arcata Post Office. 

"I went to the Arcata Post office and they were like, 'You 're the guy who found mail? We've already sent someone up there.'"

The United States Postal Inspection service confirmed that they picked up the mail and will try to return as much of it as they can to the rightful recipients. 

Here are some things you can do to avoid mail theft:

  • Do not mail cash
  • Do not leave mail unattended
  • Make arrangements with a neighbor or friend to pick up your mail during the holidays
  • Obtain a locking mailbox
  • Report stolen mail immediately
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