LEE -- The thief or thieves looking for holiday cash or gift cards continued to target local homeowners' mail just before Christmas.

Since the weekend, Lee police have received a total of 10 calls from residents claiming their mail was either taken from their mailboxes or tampered with, according to Police Chief Jeffrey Roosa.

He noted the incidents have been primarily in the south and west end of town.

Lee police initially received two reports of mail theft on Saturday, in the Devon Road area and PIne Street. Christmas cards sent to at least six home addresses were found open, with the rest of the mail discarded. It's unclear if anything was taken from the cards.

The mail was turned over to the Lee postmaster so it could be redistributed to the owners, according to Gene Griffin, a postal inspector with the Springfield division of the United States Postal Service.

Griffin says postal officials aren't formally investigating the thefts, but addresses are being collected in case fraud occurs as a result of the mail tampering -- a federal offense.

Anyone with information about the mail thefts or notices suspicious activity near a mailbox is asked to contact the Lee Police Department at (413) 243-5530.

To reach Dick Lindsay:


or (413) 496-6233