About two dozen cases throughout city reported

Havelock police and the U.S. Postal Service are investigating reports of thefts from mail boxes across the city.

Havelock Police Chief David Magnusson said that a couple of dozen boxes were tampered with late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

“It’s beyond just a couple of joyriding kids knocking down mailboxes,” Magnusson said. “I think they were looking to steal from people’s boxes. This was a concerted effort, going up and down blocks checking mailboxes.”

The thefts happened on South Forest Drive, Evelyn Circle, Devonshire Drive and a variety of neighborhoods in between, Magnusson said. Magnusson believes that new and unused credit cards or mail-order prescriptions may have been the targets of the thief.

“If they were expecting a credit card, check with the company that would have sent it to you,” Magnusson suggested. “If they were waiting for pill prescriptions mail order, check with the company for the shipping date.”

Tampering with U.S. mail is a federal offense, Magnusson said.

“If these people are caught, they are looking at federal charges, which are pretty stringent when it comes to this,” Magnusson said.

He said some mail items were taken while others were recovered. Some mail was found discarded outside the neighborhood of the home address from which it was taken.

“It was wet last night so getting prints off this mail will be difficult, but we have other avenues,” Magnusson said. “What’s most concerning is that there has been some similar activity outside of Craven County.”

Magnusson said the theft of mail is a disruption of bill payments and deliveries for residents.

“It’s chaotic for those people waiting for bills or certain information,” Magnusson said. “It’s a wait-and-see situation for a lot of these people. If they did make an order, they will want to check with the company that was supposed to send it.”

Residents who believe their mail may have been tampered with or anyone with any information can call the Havelock Police Department at 447-3212.