Ask ELi: Mail Thieves and Comcast Refunds

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Photo of Hannah Plaza sign contributed by Regina Stout

In our Ask ELi to Investigate grab bags, we often answer quick questions our readers have about things they see around town, but sometimes grab bags like today’s also function as a place for the East Lansing Info (ELi) team to put out important public service announcements based on information we’ve recently learned.

Today we bring you information on mail theft and how to protect yourself as well as an update on Comcast reimbursements for residents affected by the recent outage after a train pulled down parts of the electrical grid.

Do you have a question you want answered? Submit it here, and we will do our best get you an answer.

What can you do to protect yourself from mail and package thieves?

East Lansing Pinecrest Neighborhood residents have reported having mail stolen from their mailboxes, and Captain Chad Connelly of the East Lansing Police Department confirmed that the department had taken at least one police report for stolen mail on Monday this week.

“We were contacted by a caller about their mail being taken from their mailbox before the mail carrier arrived,” Connelly told ELi. “It is common to see an increase in property crimes such as mail theft or package theft during the holidays.”  

“Dropping items with valuables in a secured drop box is best if mailing items, and arranging delivery times that correspond with a resident being home is beneficial,” said Connelly.

Got outgoing bill payments, for example? To avoid identity theft, it is best to mail those by dropping them in a secure post box. If you do leave outgoing mail for your postal worker to pick up, you don’t need to raise the flag on your box. (The flag being up could alert thieves.) If your postal delivery worker comes to deliver your mail, they’ll see the outgoing mail and take it with them.

“Just an FYI that for me at least, the Comcast outage refund instructions you linked to don’t work. Specifically, it never provides me a chance to ‘Tell us more about your experience in the Outage Tips section at the bottom of the page.’”

After a reader wrote in to let us know this, ELi reporter Andrew Graham reached out to Mike Wilson, Comcast’s Public Relations Director for our area.

“Customers who were part of the outage will be eligible for a partial refund on a case-by-case basis,” Wilson told us.

So, what’s the best way to see if you are eligible for the refund, according to Wilson? 

“I’d encourage customers to download the ‘Xfinity My Account’ app and link their accounts,” Wilson wrote to ELi. “From there, customers will be able to chat with a customer service representative.” 

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