SANDY, Ore. -- At a time when mailboxes are typically full of holiday gifts, officers in Sandy are dealing with a spike in mail theft.

“It’s bizarre,” said Sam Albrecht.

Albrecht lives in the very neighborhood that has seen its fair share of mail theft in recent weeks. Authorities have found piles of what appears to be stolen mail dumped throughout the city. They have also noticed a countless number of mailboxes left wide open.

“We noticed some were popped open the other day,” said Albrecht. “Was hoping it meant nothing.”

Investigators say the mail is disappearing in the middle of the night. They say at least one person may have witnessed the suspect, or suspects, in action, but because it was dark the witness could not provide a solid suspect description.

“My experience tells me that they’re looking for gift cards and Christmas cards,” said Det. Sam Craven of the Sandy Police Department. “Gifts that may be in your mailbox if you have not checked your mail in a few days.”

Authorities suggest checking your mail frequently. It is advice the residents of the Commons at Timber Creek could have used. Neighbors at the Northwest Portland apartment complex woke up Monday morning to find nearly two dozen mailboxes had been pried open and ransacked.

Anyone with information about either case is urged to contact authorities.