ELK GROVE, Calif - Imagine the surprise of going out to get the mail, and not only is your mail not there, the whole box is gone.
"I was going out to check the mail and drop off some Netflix, and there was nothing but a stump," explained Quail Cove Drive resident Fizz Orange. "Like, the bolts had been removed and they up and removed the entire block's mailbox."
The box went missing sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning.
Thieves broke into the same mailbox last September, leaving nearby ones untouched.
The US Postal Service says other boxes in the area were compromised during the overnight hours Friday into Saturday.
About a mile east, thieves struck a Sierra Creek Drive mailbox.
Diana Zetner, active in the neighborhood watch on her block, noticed their street's box had taken a beating overnight as well.
"First thing I thought was, you know, identity theft, I was expecting a rebate card to come in the mail, which thankfully I got in the mail last night," Zetner said.
The mailbox is located next to Kevin Bell's home.
He also noticed the damage this morning.
"I asked my wife and went 'that's kind of weird,' that's about it, it's pretty quiet around here, we don't get that stuff too much, so we were surprised," Bell said.
There is a 10-thousand dollar reward that leads to the arrest and conviction of mail theft suspects, and tampering with the mail is a felony offense, said Bill Zemblidge, a spokesman for the US Postal Inspection Service.
Any information regarding these or other mail thefts can be reported to the service's 24-hour tip line, 1-877-876-2455.