Local report

A rash of rural area thefts targeting mailboxes with their flags up and a string of car break-ins are believed to be related, police say.

Jackson County Sheriff's Department deputies are working with the U.S. Postal Service to investigate a string of mail theft cases spanning across southern Jackson County, according to a release issued by the Sheriff's Office. Numerous cases of stolen and vandalized mail was reported Thursday, the sheriff's office says, in areas largely in the south portion of the county with a focus on mailboxes indicating they had outgoing mail for the postal service to pick up.

Sheriff's deputies are seeking witnesses who saw suspicious behavior or have surveillance footage in the areas of Dead Indian Memorial Road, South Pacific Highway (ORE 99), West Glenwood Avenue, South Stage Road, Griffin Creek Road, West Griffin Creek Road, Dark Hollow Road. Anyone with information should call sheriff's deputies at 541-774-6800.

Deputies believe vehicle break-ins reported in the same areas overnight are related. The thefts may also be related to similar crimes reported recently by other police agencies. For example, Medford police took a report of about $20,000 in rent checks stolen from a mailbox on Chevy Way earlier this week.

 Local police are collaborating with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on the investigation. The federal agency makes the following suggestions for those concerned:


If you were expecting a particular piece of mail and you believe it is missing, contact your local post office directly.
If you believe you may be a victim of stolen credit cards, checks, or other financial information, contact the appropriate financial institution immediately to stop payment on checks and issue a fraud alert.
 If you need to send a payment or documents that contain identifying information, such as your Social Security number, take your outgoing mail to a post office or hand it to your mail carrier; do not leave mail in your mailbox with the flag up.
If you find discarded mail that you believe to be stolen, take it to your local post office.
Check your mail daily; do not leave it in the box overnight.
If you will be out of town, notify your local post office to hold your mail until you return.

Additional information on mail theft prevention can be found at www.usps.com/help. The postal service has a free online program called Informed Delivery that allows customers to receive daily notifications with images of incoming mail. It helps people to know when to expect a delivery. To register, see informeddelivery.usps.com.