NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— The United States Postal Service wants folks to be extra careful to avoid mail theft. Postal Inspectors are aware of reports of mail being stolen from the outside blue collection boxes throughout New Orleans.

Driving up to the Post Office on South Carrollton Avenue you may be surprised to find out that you can’t put your mail in these outdoor mailboxes.

“It is messed up for people with a disability. I had a fork lift accident and it cut my leg in half, so I parked right in front,” Mike Rushing, New Orleans Resident said.

Mike Rushing noticed that these mailboxes are covered in tape and cellophane and recognizes the inconvenience of have to walk inside.

“I have a leg injury, so it is a thing, you have to consider people that can’t walk. I was in a wheelchair for a bit,” Rushing said.

Residents believe the outdoor mailboxes are actually covered for protection against mail thieves who have been breaking into the boxes. Although the Post Office can’t confirm that. Still, U.S. Postal Inspectors say there have been reports of mail theft out of blue collection boxes throughout the New Orleans area.

“Seems like New Orleans is entering some sort of Zombie Apocolypse,” Rushing said.

The United States Postal Service says there are ways to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of mail theft. Here are the “Do’s and Don’ts”:

-Use the Post Office retail counter inside.

-Use the inside collection slots to deposit mail.

-Don’t deposit mail after the last collection of the day.

-Don’t deposit mail on Sundays or Holidays.

“It is out of control. New Orleans is crazy. People are wild,” Rushing said.

Express mail no longer feels like express.

The longer your mailbox stays in a mailbox, the more susceptible it is to theft. Mail theft is a federal crime and punishable by fines and prison time.

U.S. Postal Inspector Silvia Torres said in a statement, “While the U.S. Mail remains one of the most secure means of transmitting information, it also contains items that are attractive to thieves, and we take every report of mail theft seriously. Inspectors are actively working with our local law enforcement partners to identify and arrest individuals who are involved in this activity.

Postal Inspectors rely on the reports by customers to identify any items taken from the mail. If a customer believes they are a victim of mail theft, they should report it by calling 877-876-2455 or the United States Postal Inspection Service website.