LAUDERDALE CO., Miss. (WTOK) - “The thieves, they don’t care. Because apparently they are pretty sure they’ll never get caught,” an anonymous victim said.
Thieves are targeting mailboxes across Lauderdale County and are stealing anything they can get their hands on.
"This is not something new. We've had this happen in the past. Currently we're getting reports not only of activities like this in the county, but also in the city. A lot of it has to do with the time of year. It's certainly an inconvenience and very frustrating for citizens to have to worry about something like this," LCSD Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun said.
The mail thieves have hit dozens of homes from Toomsuba to Clarkdale to North Hills and beyond. One victim, who did not want to be identified, captured video of a person stealing a package from his home early Monday. You can't see much, but the video shows a suspicious car slow down at his mailbox and take off. Another victim told us Christmas cards and a package she was sending to a loved one were stolen from her mailbox this week.
"I know it has to be a way that they can be caught. So that's what I'm hoping will happen. That they will be caught and punished. Not just caught and slapped on the hand and let go. But be punished because this is disrupting everybody's life," an anonymous victim said.
Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun suggests homeowners buy mailbox locks and ask neighbors to watch their mail. Calhoun says unfortunately, many offenders caught stealing mail only face minimal penalties.
"Many times though, these crimes would be if a person is caught it'd be prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense because of the value of what's being taken," Chief Deputy Calhoun said.
Sheriff's investigators are aggressively working the case and already have several leads.
"So it can be frustrating for citizens. It's frustrating for law enforcement to a degree. Because in a sense that it's very disruptive to our community but it's not a lot of penalties that are going to be placed if we're able to actually catch someone doing this," Chief Deputy Calhoun said.
Meanwhile, the sheriff's office has increased patrols across the county. Deputies hope to bust "Christmas Crooks" soon.