Mail-Identity Theft: 12/23/12-12/28/12
Woodland Hills, Georgia: Residents in Woodland Hills have reported suspected thieves rifling through their mailboxes. Authorities are urging residents to take precautions and report any suspicious activity immediately to police.
- North Druid Hills-Briarcliff Patch (12.26.11) – Woodland Hills Mail Tampering Alert
COMMENTS: Mail theft is one of the most common ways thieves obtain your sensitive information for identity theft. It generally rises around the holidays when thieves are more likely to find checks and gift cards in the mail. However, it happens year round, and peaks at tax time too. To protect yourself, use a high security locking mailbox like the Mail Boss (available at your local Ace Hardware). It will keep your mail safe from would-be identity thieves, plus it’s baseball bat proof! Also, never send sensitive mail (checks, bill payments, etc.) from an unsecured mailbox. Bring them directly to the post office or use online bill pay – it’s more secure!
Coeur d’Alene, IDAHO: Mail thieves have hit CDA again this year, targeting residential mailboxes searching for Christmas cards and sensitive financial documents. Authorities have found discarded mail that has been rifled through all over town, and are urging residents to take precautions with their mail.
- Coeur d’Alene Press (12.28.11) – Postal Service justice: Clerk pursues mail thieves, gets license plate number for police
- Coeur d’Alene Press (12.24.11) – A box full of nothing: More mail taken from Coeur d’Alene mailboxes
COMMENTS: This happened last year over Christmas in CDA too! People are more likely to notice over the holidays when mail goes missing, as they don’t receive their usual Christmas cards or the like. However, thieves are targeting residential mailboxes year-round to obtain sensitive information for identity theft. Most people don’t even realize when their mail has been stolen. The best solution is a locking mailbox. In CDA you can get the Mail Boss at the new Big R (formerly D&B Supply) or at Seright’s Ace Hardware.
Freeport, ILLINOIS: A recent rash of mail thefts in East Dubuque has Jo Daviess County sheriff’s deputies asking residents for help in identifying suspects. The thieves apparently targeted residential mailboxes in late December, stealing Christmas cards and other mail.
- The Journal Standard (12.23.11) – Mail thefts reported in JD County
COMMENTS: Mail theft tends to increase around the holidays, but occurs all year long as one of the most common ways thieves obtain your sensitive information for identity theft. To protect yourself, use a high security locking mailbox like the Mail Boss to prevent thieves from stealing your financial documents and other mail.
Marysville, WASHINGTON: Police are recommending charges for four individuals after an eleven month investigation in Snohomish County. The suspects have been identified for offenses including burglary, trafficking in stolen property, mail theft and identity theft.
- Herald Net (12.23.11) – Charges recommended for four in string of Marysville burglaries
COMMENTS: Marysville has had a serious mail-identity theft problem (tied with the meth epidemic) for some time. To protect yourself, use a high security locking mailbox like the Mail Boss, and never send sensitive information from an unsecured mailbox. Bring checks and bill payments directly to the post office or use online bill pay – it’s more secure.
Bremerton, WASHINGTON: Two mail thieves were arrested after a Bremerton resident reported suspicious individuals rifling through mailboxes. Police found them in possession of more than 60 mail items from 34 Bremerton addresses, as well as methamphetamine.
- Kitsap Sun (12.23.11) – Mail thieves arrested in Bremerton
COMMENTS: Mail theft is a leading cause of identity theft, and is often fueled by methamphetamine addiction. Meth heads steal mail to sell for drugs or trade for money for drugs. Both identity theft and meth addiction are fast growing problems, so residents need to take precautions to protect themselves. Specifically, get a high security locking mailbox to keep thieves from stealing your sensitive mail. In Bremerton you can find MailBoss at Fred Meyer or nearby at Scott McLendon’s Hardware. In addition, never send sensitive information from an unsecured mailbox – bring checks and bill payment directly to the post office or use online bill pay – it’s more secure.
POLICE BLOTTERS Nationwide: Residents are reporting theft of incoming and outgoing mail on a regular basis across the nation. Sometimes thefts happen during the day while other times thieves strike at night. A compilation of police blotters are included below.
- Lake Forest Park, WASHINGTON: Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Patch (12.24.11) – Police Blotter
- Lake Forest, CALIFORNIA: Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Patch (12.23.11) – Lake Forest Police Services dispatch log
COMMENTS: Mail thefts are frequently included in police blotters when there are just a few incidents here are there – not enough for a big story. That said, most victims of mail theft do not even realize when their mail has been stolen, and many more do not know they should report mail theft to the police. Here is a primer on what to do if your mail is stolen.
HOLIDAY MAIL-ID THEFT Nationwide: Authorities are warning residents that mail thefts are on the rise, as opportunistic thieves are looking to steal cash, checks, gift cards and packages from the mail during the holiday season. Take precautions when sending and receiving holiday mail and packages. Use a locking mailbox and send mail with checks or gift cards from a secure mailbox. Never send cash in the mail.
- Kirkland, WASHINGTON: KOMO 4 (12.23.11) – Neighbor turns mail theft into chance to return memories
- Ebensburg, PENNSYLVANIA: Tribune Democrat (12.23.11) – Police: Women took Christmas cards from mailboxes
- Fairgrove, MICHIGAN: Tuscola Today (12.23.11) – Thieves may be looking for your Christmas card cash
COMMENTS: Mail theft is one of the most common ways thieves steal your information for identity theft. During the holidays (and tax season) it is more prevalent as opportunistic thieves can find gift cards, checks, etc. in the mail as well. To protect yourself, invest in a secure locking mailbox to keep thieves from stealing your personal information from the mailbox. Also, never send checks, bill payments or anything you don’t want stolen from an unsecured mailbox. Bring them directly to the post office or use online bill pay. It’s more secure! Of course, always shred sensitive documents (most of which come in your mailbox) before discarding them to thwart dumpster divers, too.
- Cumberland County, PENNSYLVANIA: CBS 21 (12.23.11) – Cumberland County residents have mailboxes, Christmas ornaments stolen
- Hollywood, FLORIDA: WSVN-TV (12.23.11) – Police search for mailbox bandit
- Santa Rosa, CALIFORNIA: Press-Democrat (12.22.11) – Montgomery Village postal theft still under investigation
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