THORNTON, Colo. (KDVR) — The U.S. Postal Inspection Service reports mailbox vandalism and theft both increase during the summer months.

Mail theft can also surge during tax time, committed by thieves looking to use personal information for identity theft.

One Thornton apartment complex was hit by thieves months ago, but the mailboxes remain unrepaired. Residents are now required to travel to the post office to retrieve their mail.

Medical worker Sara Bouchez told the Problem Solvers it is a frustrating experience.

“Having to go to the post office to pick up our mail has been quite the pain I almost missed a jury summons,” she said.

The Problem Solvers contacted the property management office and reached out to the U.S. Postal Service, which contacted the leasing office and conducted an investigation.

A USPS spokesperson provided reassurance that residents will continue to be able to access their mail. The management relayed that the boxes will be repaired.

How to prevent mail identity theft

To prevent identity theft, put a hold on your mail before going on vacation and track your mail. Contact the sender if your mail doesn’t arrive on time.

For more information visit the USPS website. Penalties for mail theft can be up to five years in federal prison and a $250,00 fine.