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Police are warning residents and offering safety tips after a high number of recent mail theft incidents occurring throughout the Chicago suburbs.

The Barrington Hills Police Department issued the warning and said the thefts had occurred in neighboring communities as well as other Chicago suburbs.

The police department said residents should take steps to protect their mail and lower their risk of becoming mail theft victims.

Residents are recommended to retrieve mail promptly after delivery and always avoid leaving mail in mailboxes overnight.

Cash or financial instruments, including checks and gift cards, should not be mailed.

Police said residents should consider the installation of a locking mailbox or utilize a post office box.

It is recommended people use letter slots inside the post office or hand outgoing mail to a letter carrier instead of using blue collection boxes and roadside mailboxes.

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The U.S. Postal Service offers a free mail-holding service for residents who are traveling.

The postal service also offers a program called Informed Delivery so recipients know what mail will be delivered each day.

Residents are also reminded to make use of their local police department’s house watch program if traveling.

Police said residents should always promptly report suspicious activity by calling 911.