MEMPHIS, Tenn. — U.S. Postal inspectors say they need your help tracking down a thief who was caught on camera stealing hundreds of pieces of mail.
All of this unfolded at the Stonebridge Crossing apartments off Morning Ridge Road in Cordova.
Inspectors said the reason cameras were put up around the mailboxes in the first place was because of mail theft.
Video shows the man taking the mail around 3 Monday afternoon.
Inspectors say he hit the parked postal vehicle not once but twice, in a matter or minutes, and made off with more than 400 pieces of mail, including packages.
"It's pretty bold to be doing this in broad daylight, especially when the carrier is just around the corner delivering mail," said U.S. Postal Inspector Branden Guffey.
Guffey said this crime not just bold, it's unusual. He says thieves usually take packages from porches or mailboxes.
"This is pretty significant because normally they don't steal mail directly from the carrier's vehicle."
He believes the man, who people have reported seeing before, was probably after gift cards, cash and other things he could use quickly.
There is some good news: Most of the mail was found behind the complex but the packages were ripped open, contents removed.
However, most letters were unopened.
"It happens more than you think, most cases it's on a small scale, rarely is it something this large," explained Guffey.
It can also carry a heavy punishment.
"Mail theft is a federal offense punishable of up to five years in prison."
If you think you recognize the man, the postal service wants to hear from you at 1-877-876-2455.
To protect yourself, inspectors say don't leave packages on your porch unattended and don't let mail pile up in your mail box.