CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR) -- “Most of my family is out of town so I usually send gift cards,” said Thomas Reis.
And, since Reis won’t be with his daughter Kimberly for Christmas, he sent and her kids her three VISA gift cards worth $75 dollars.
He mailed it from the Chesterfield Post Office off Iron Bridge Road Tuesday.
But, when Kimberly received her father’s Christmas card in the mail she got an unexpected surprise.
“When I opened the mail, I noticed it was a card from my father, and I noticed it was slit on both sides,” Kimberly said.
Someone had stolen the gift cards, and placed the remaining card and envelope back in the mailbox.
“I think it's unfortunate not only for me, but for my kids because they are the ones suffering, too..and my father is on disability so he doesn’t have that much money,” she said.
“It’s appalling. [The thief] figures ‘I don't know these people, so I don't care,’” Reis said.
Mike Romano with the U.S. Postal Inspection Services says mail theft complaints are at an all time low, but says gift card thefts do happen.
“It's a property crime and a crime of opportunity,” Romano said.
But, it can be tracked down as long as you keep your gift card purchase receipt.
“Using tracking numbers and contacting the card issuer, we can start an investigation to determine where the card was stolen, and where it was purchased to try to identify a suspect,” he said.
Reis kept his receipts and says he plans to file a complaint at the post office.
Here is the link: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/mlntrcvd.aspx
Romano says the best way to avoid becoming a victim of mail theft is to mail your gift card from the post office. And, if you are expecting gift cards in the mail, Romano says you should pick up your mail as soon as possible. And, under no circumstance should you leave your mail in the mailbox overnight.