As you drive down the country road, you notice the occasional mailbox that seems to be interspersed with lush vegetation or old trees.

Usually found at the beginning of a driveway, you notice that while many of these kinds of boxes feature whimsical designs, hand painted names, and in some cases are artistically incorporated into the landscape, they all have one thing in common: they lock.

While this may a somewhat novel concept to many a city dweller, it is a stark requirement in rural areas.

Locking rural mailboxes are a necessity to protect items purchased through the mail from the quick hands of would be thieves.

It is not unheard of for thieves to follow mail trucks and other delivery trucks on their routes to await the drop off for a small package or oversized letter and then simply open up the mailbox and remove the item.

This kind of theft causes hundreds of thousands of dollars in loss on a yearly basis, and thieves make off with jewelry, CDs, DVDs, and a plethora of other consumer goods in this manner.

Since in rural areas especially the mailboxes are so far removed from the homes and windows overlooking the driveway, they are at a heightened risk for being emptied by anyone other than the owner.

Fortunately, with the advent of locking rural mailboxes the incidents of mail theft have severely declined.

Relying at times on mechanical locks that permit one time access to the cavity of the box, home owners now have the opportunity to safeguard their mail without having to lie in waiting for the mail carrier.

Yet even in non-rural areas these locking rural mailboxes are gaining in popularity, and with the rise of identity theft it is no small wonder that more and more homeowners seek to protect their credit card bills and also bank statements.