Mail raided by crooks looking for cash inside holiday cards

DENVER - Residents of a west Denver neighborhood had their mail stolen and raided for holiday gift money.

Friday, the U.S. Postal Service delivered a pink card to neighbors near the 4500 block of W. Tennessee Ave. saying that the neighborhood delivery and collection box had been vandalized recently.

Charles Crider said he got the notification from the postal service but didn't know that any of his mail was missing until a neighbor found items addressed to him in her yard. The pile of correspondence included his newborn daughter's social security card, an unemployment letter and a Christmas card.

"The only thing that was open was a Christmas card, and they took the cash out of it," Crider said.

It was money his aunt had sent for him to buy his daughter clothes with. Crider said he was going to buy her Broncos gear.

"It's something that my Aunt did, out of kindness, for my daughter. Then somebody just comes by and takes it," Crider said, comparing it to Dr. Seus' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

When the neighbor brought the card over, the envelope for the card was shredded, not opened neatly. The cash was gone but inside the card, a heart-shaped sticky note instructed him to "Buy something for Kyla's birth."

"You feel violated," Crider said.

"You can't help but feel wronged, even though it didn't happen this time personally to me it just destroys the trust you have in people period," said Dixie Marshall, another neighbor.

Marshall and Crider say a third neighbor, who was unavailable Saturday, alerted the postal service after noticing her mailbox had been left open. A postal inspector was sent out to investigate and the pink card was sent to the neighbors who might have been affected.

"This is the time of year for giving and not taking," Marshall said.

The card from the Postal Service instructs anyone who believes they were a victim of mail theft to call 1-877-876-2455.