(WBIR-Tellico Village) Mail thieves have targeted dozens of neighbors in Tellico Village in the last month, and now police are putting out a warning for folks throughout the area to be careful.
"It's been made aware to the community over the last month," said one resident, who asked not to be identified. She said she was one of those victims.
"There's been a lot of activity about vehicles in the village going from mailbox to mailbox," she added.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Department along with the Loudon County Sheriff's Office have been looking into thefts in the small community. They report money, gift cards, checks and anything with monetary values were all stolen from victims' mailboxes. Detectives have talked with people of interest, but so far, no arrests.
The U.S. Postal Service says this time of year is normally the worst when it comes to mail theft. With an increase in mail volume and unusual hours for mailmen, sometimes customers will not know they received a letter. That's when the thieves strike.
Some people said they're taking matters in their own hands, until they hear the crime slows down.
"This device is called a mail chime," the victim told 10News. "When you open the mailbox, there's a sensor that activates a receiver in the house to let you know your mailbox has been open."
So far, authorities believe that what happened this month was "an isolated case". To protect yourself -- investigators say you need to check your mailbox every day, sometimes multiple times just to make sure your mail is going in your hands.
Of course, contact authorities if you do see suspicious activity.