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Outbreak of mail thefts reported

Mail is being stolen from mailboxes in Hastings and the surrounding area, according to Hastings postmaster Margaret Anfang.

Anfang said rural areas have been targeted in recent months, with Denmark Township being hit especially hard. She said that rural areas south of Hastings have also reported thefts. Mailboxes within the city are being hit, too. Just this week, at least two homes located along Westview Drive near the Hastings Country Club had mail stolen from them.

A witness observed a black Honda Accord or similar vehicle stop by the mailbox, and observed a white male driver and white female passenger.

Hastings police are investigating the cases.

"We definitely want people to report any type of suspicious activity," Chief of Police Paul Schnell said. "Right now we don't have a great deal of information indicating that the proceeds of these thefts have been used in other types of fraudulent activities. Obviously, we would like to get to the bottom of who is doing it."

Tampering with mail is a federal offense, Schnell said.

Anfang and the USPS recommend depositing outgoing mail in blue collection boxes throughout the city, or giving outgoing mail directly to postal carriers. It is also recommended that incoming mail be collected from your mailbox as soon as possible.