Hamilton Township Police are warning residents to not become a victim of the latest mail theft around the township, according to Peterson's Breaking News of Trenton.

Hamilton Police Detectives are currently investigating several cases in which mail is being taken out of those old, blue United States Postal Service mailboxes to look for cash, checks and gift cards. Ugh.

So, if you're planning on sending anyone a birthday or graduation card with a gift inside, it's ok to still send it, just make sure you give it to your mail carrier directly (if you're around when they deliver) or bring it to the post office yourself. It's definitely an extra step, but, better to be safe than sorry. It would really stink if your bff's birthday Starbucks gift card or your niece's graduation gift got stolen.

If you can't make it to the post office or give mail that contains cash, checks or gift cards to your mail carrier, you can still use those old, blue USPS mailboxes, just be careful. The Police Division encourages you check the collection times on the mailbox itself. There should be a sticker on it saying when the mail will be picked up, so you can put your mail in right before it's picked up. I know the mail in my neighborhood is picked up every afternoon at 3pm, while another mailbox in town says it's emptied each day at 11am. Don't let your mail sit in the mailbox overnight or through the weekend if it's not going to be picked up until Monday. Get it?

Hamilton Police say the thieves have the ability to alter your checks, and use them to possibly drain your bank accounts. Scary, huh? When sending checks in the mail, don't forget about them after you put it in the mailbox. Follow up with whoever you sent it to, to make sure they received it.  You can also use security pens (never heard of them before). The article says the pens are "designed with an ink to prevent the alteration of your checks."

Please call the Hamilton Police Department at (609) 581-4000 if you've noticed a blue USPS mailbox has been broken into or tampered with.