MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Postal inspectors for the United States Postal Service are working to prevent the theft of paper stimulus checks that will be mailed out to homes throughout South Florida in the coming weeks.

7News cameras captured postal inspectors accompanying some mail carriers in Miami Gardens on Tuesday.

“We’ve taken nationwide precautions,” Postal Inspector Ivan Ramirez said. “We are out in some of these local neighborhoods that we’ve anticipated that we’ve had some historical issues in the past.”

Stimulus money that is being sent by mail is expected to begin arriving at homes throughout the region this week, and the IRS is sending about five million checks each week.

Unfortunately, most Americans are stuck at home, but Ramirez mentioned that at least they can get their mail fast, which can help prevent thefts from occurring.

“Most folks are home. [We want to tell them to] go out there and take it; snatch it from your mailbox before someone else gets tempted to do so,” Ramirez said. “We’re reminding them just to be mindful and weary of their surroundings. If they see something that doesn’t look right or is out of place, give us a call, let us know.”

Postal inspectors said no one knows communities better than the people who go house to house delivering mail, and they are watching out for the possible thefts, as well.

“No one knows their route, no one knows their neighborhoods better than they do,” Ramirez said. “They know what belongs, what doesn’t. Any anomalies whatsoever, no matter how small, call us.”

Postal inspectors are also reminding the public that stealing mail or harming a postal worker is a federal crime.

If you would like to report any suspicious activity, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.

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