Mail-Identity Theft: October 2015

Here is a curated selection of news reports of stolen mail and mail-related identity theft from October 2015 in the United States. Stolen mail continues to be a leading cause of ID theft. To protect yourself, (1) use a locking security mailbox, (2) never send checks or bill payments in the mailbox, and (3) always shred sensitive documents before discarding them.

Oct. 1: 

(credit: Cherry Hills Village Police Department)

Oct. 2:


Oct. 3:

Oct. 4:

Oct. 5:

  • WEST HOLLYWOOD, California: Arrests Made in Doheny Drive Mailbox Break-In; “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has arrested two suspects in the theft of mail from a building at 906 N. Doheny Drive.”
  • GRASS VALLEY, California: The Union Police blotter; “3:02 p.m. — A caller from the 12000 block of Banner Mountain Trail reported a mail theft. 3:15 p.m. — A caller from the 13000 block of Bitney Springs Road reported vandalism to a mailbox and possible theft of mail. 12:55 p.m. — A caller from the 10000 block of Paradise Drive reported the mail theft of medications.”

Oct. 6:

Oct. 7:

  • BERLIN, Connecticut: NEWS 8 Berlin police, USPS looking for people stealing mail; “As it turns out Sanders is one of many people who live in the area that report having their mail stolen in recent days. Police in town posted a video online shot by one resident’s home survalence system which apparently caputres the alleged criminals in the act. You can see in the video a white car drive up to a mailbox and attempt to take the contents inside.”
  • KLAMATH FALLS, Oregon: Herald and News Law enforcement Wednesday; “Kori Kadriu, 27, 3738 Bisbee Avenue, ID theft, mail theft, held in lieu of $15,000 bail.”
  • CERES, California: The Ceres Courier Police Stumble Unto ID Theft Operation; “As a result, Ashley Chavan, 28, of Ceres, faces charges of identity theft, forgery, receiving stolen property, probation violation, possession of methamphetamine, driving on a suspended license.”
  • OSCEOLA, Minnesota: Osceola News-Gazette Sheriff’s Office deputies warn public about debit card scam; “At some point the mail is stolen from the roadside mail boxes and the debit cards are then used to make multiple large purchases at major retailers in Central Florida. On average, the three victims lost more than $9,000 dollars each.”
  • BERLIN, Connecticut: WFSB Mailbox thieves sought after thefts posted to YouTube; “Someone is driving around a Berlin neighborhood stealing people’s mail. Neighbors said video surfaced on the website YouTube and showed a white car pull up to a mailbox on Summit Wood Drive.”

(YouTube photo)

More mailbox break-ins, arrest

Oct. 8:

  • HIGHLAND, California: Highland Community News Highland man implicated in ID theft; “Inside the vehicle were hundreds of pieces of stolen mail, stolen credit cards and hundreds of checks in various stages of being altered and forged.”
  • BERLIN, Connecticut: Berlin Mailbox Theft Captured on Video; “The theft happened recently on Summit Wood Drive, Det. Dave Cruickshank said. Police posted the video on their Facebook page. It shows a white, four-door car pulling up to the mailbox, and a backseat passenger opening the door and taking some mail.”
  • BERLIN, Connecticut: FOX CT Police looking for mail thieves caught on-camera in Berlin; “Authorities are investigating claims that at least two suspects stole mail from the mailboxes of several homes in an upscale neighborhood in Berlin.”

Oct. 9:

Oct. 11:

Oct. 13:

Oct. 14:

  • CLAREMONT, California: Claremont Courier Police arrest suspected mail thief during traffic stop; “Claremont police arrested a suspected mail thief during a routine traffic stop on Monday morning.”
  • BAKERSFIELD, California: The Bakersfield Californian Suspect wanted for stealing mail; “The theft took place at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at 3120 18th St., police said. The suspect is described as Hispanic, in his 20s or 30s, medium build, wearing a dark baseball cap with a red bill, dark T-shirt and shorts.”
  • TAOS, New Mexico: The Taos News Thieves target mailboxes in Taos; “Inspector Heriberto Trejo of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said thieves typically do not burglarize mailboxes to snatch packages but bank statements and other financial information that can be used to defraud or steal the identities of postal service customers.”
  • ANCHORAGE, Alaska: KTUU – TROOPERS: Fairbanks man arrested for stealing mail from mailboxes; “Kenneth M. Thompson, 39, was found near a row of mailboxes after Troopers responded to reports of stolen mail at noon Sunday. Thompson was found in possession of stolen mail, Troopers wrote in a dispatch posted online.”
  • TAOS, New Mexico: Santa Fe New Mexican Thieves target neighborhood mailboxes in Taos; “Thieves are prying open U.S. Postal Service cluster mailboxes around Taos, The Taos News reported, with 10 reportedly burglarized Oct. 7 and Oct. 13.”
  • REDMOND, Washington: Redmond Reporter Police blotter for Oct. 7-13: “You’ve got no mail: A resident visited the Redmond Police Department at 11:46 a.m. and reported a mail theft at their residence in the 13400 block of Northeast 84th Street.”
  • SANTA CLARITA VALLEY, California: Signal SCV Some drive-up SCV mailboxes locked overnight; “Mail theft has prompted U.S. Postal Service officials to lock up the main drive-through mailboxes in the Santa Clarita Valley, a postal official said this week.”
  • STUYVESANT TOWN, New York: – Thief Caught Looting Mail in Peter Cooper Village, Police Say; “Police arrested a man for allegedly going on a package-stealing spree in Peter Copper Village, strolling from floor to floor and rooting through piles of delivery packages, according to a police report.”

Mail theft suspect

Oct. 15:

  • FAIRBANKS, Alaska: Alaska Dispatch News Troopers: Fairbanks man caught stealing mail from boxes; “A Fairbanks man was arrested for stealing mail last weekend by Alaska State Troopers — who say they didn’t have to travel far from the scene to find evidence. Kenneth M. Thompson, 39, was taken into custody after troopers received a report at about noon Sunday of a man stealing mail on Chena Hot Springs Road, troopers wrote in a Wednesday dispatch.”
  • MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota: CBS Minnesota Police: West Metro Communities Seeing Rise In Mail Theft; “The South Lake Minnetonka Police Department is telling residents in the area to be on alert as mail thefts are on the rise in the community.”
  • FAIRBANKS, Alaska: News Miner Fairbanks man charged in mail thefts; “Fairbanks-area neighborhoods have been hit by mail thefts recently, according to Alaska State Troopers. Troopers arrested a man on Sunday after a Chena Hot Springs Road resident contacted troopers to report she saw a man taking items from her mailbox and her neighbor’s mailbox.”

Oct. 16:

  • ST. PAUL, Minnesota: Woodbury Bulletin Stolen credit card user gets probation; “She used a stolen credit card to purchase $1,050 of goods at Kohl’s Department Stores in Woodbury, Cottage Grove and Eagan. The Kohl’s credit card had been stolen from the mail, and police detailed five purchases she made at the local stores.”
  • PLEASANTON, California: Pleasonton Weekly Police Bulletin: Pair arrested in identity-theft case; “Pleasanton police arrested two people on suspicion of identity theft and possession of burglary tools after they were allegedly found with the tools, a sack of U.S Postal Service mail and a ring of post office keys.”
  • CRANSTON, Rhode Island: Consumer Alert: Mailbox warning; “There are specific times that you should not be mailing a bill. They leave you vulnerable to becoming a victim of check forgery.”
  • AMERICAN CANYON, California: Times-Herald Two Vallejo women arrested in American Canyon for stolen mail, laptops, drugs; “Deputies located a white pickup truck with two women inside, outside a number of mailboxes that were damaged and “forcibly entered,” the sheriff’s office press release said.”

Oct. 18:


Oct. 19:

  • FRIDLEY, Minnesota: Sun Focus Police reports from Fridley Oct. 1-7; “Mail was reported stolen Oct. 2 on the 700 block of 53rd Avenue NE. Mail was reported stolen Oct. 4 on the 00 block of 64 Way NE.”
  • EAGLE ROCK, California: ABC 7 Thieves Rig Mailboxes Across Eagle Rock; “An unusual device used to steal mail has been found at Eagle Rock’s main post office. Similar items have been found in mailboxes across the city. Now, postal officials and customers are on alert. The devices are often used by thieves to fish envelopes out of mailboxes and steal checks, someone’s identity or other personal information.”
  • ROCKLIN, Washington: The Sacramento Bee Rocklin police arrested woman after finding stolen mail in her van: Two cluster-style mailboxes in the area had forced open; “During a search, officers said they found a large amount of stolen mail inside the van. Further investigation revealed that two cluster-style mailboxes in the area had been forced open.”

Angela Pelligra

Oct. 20:

  • OMAHA, Nebraska: KETV 7 Man helps police find person stealing his mail using phone app; “A man whose mail repeatedly went missing tracked it down himself. “I would always get at least junk mail, ads, coupons and sometimes I just wouldn’t get any mail at all,” Cookus said.”
  • VENTURA COUNTY, California: Ventura Edhat Mail Theft: Four Suspects Arrested for Theft of Mail; “Over the last few months the unincorporated area of the County located at the East end of Simi Valley has seen an increase in mail thefts where the suspect(s) were targeting residential mailboxes. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has been working with residents in the area to combat this problem, which led to a possible suspect vehicle being identified.”
  • GRASS VALLEY, California: The Union Police blotter: Multiple reports of mail theft; “8:10 a.m. — A caller from the 14000 block of Parsons Drive reported the theft of mail. 11 a.m. — A woman from the 14000 block of Bloomfield-Graniteville Road reported the theft of mail. 11:35 a.m. — A caller from the 17000 block of Highway 49 reported mail theft. 2:19 p.m. — A caller from the 11000 block of Linnet Court reported the theft of mail.”
  • HERMISTON, Oregon: Hermiston Herald Public safety log for Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015; “A caller reported possible mail theft on Prindle Loop Road.”
  • GULFPORT, Mississippi: Sun Herald Man admits stealing mail, identities for bogus checks; “A second person has pleaded guilty to stealing mail in Harrison County and using stolen identities to make bogus checks used at Walmart stores.”

Charles Cody Blue Slaton

Oct. 21:

  • GULFPORT, Mississippi: WKTX 10 Mississippi, Local Woman, Face Sentencing In Mail Theft Case; “A Mississippi man and a Marlin woman are both facing sentencing in federal court in a mail theft case in Mississippi. Charles Slaton, 28, of Gulfport, Miss., pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit mail theft and identity theft in a scheme in which mail was taken, and stolen identities were used to write bogus checks at Walmart stores.”
  • TACOMA, Washington: EXIT 133 Jury convicts mail thief; “Yesterday, a jury convicted 35-year-old Earl Alvin Polley of ten counts of identity theft in the first degree and one count of forgery for stealing victims’ checks, identification and mail.”
  • POLK COUNTY, Oregon: Polk County Itemizer-Observer Police Report; “Justin J. Lay, 26, of Dallas in the 100 block of Southeast Court Street on Oct. 12 on two counts each of first-degree criminal possession forged instrument, first-degree forgery, identity theft, and mail theft.”
  • GULFPORT, Mississippi: KTRE 9 Gulfport man pleads guilty to stealing mail; “Prosecutors say a second person has pleaded guilty to stealing mail in Harrison County and using stolen identities to write bogus checks used at Wal-Mart stores.”
  • PIERCE COUNTY, Washington: The News Tribune Jury convicts Pierce County man of mail theft; “A Pierce County man arrested in March after sheriff’s deputies discovered stolen mail in his backpack was convicted Tuesday of 10 counts of identity theft and one count of forgery.”
  • GULFPORT, Mississippi: WAPT Gulfport man pleads guilty to stealing mail: Faces up to five years in prison; “Prosecutors said a second person has pleaded guilty to stealing mail in Harrison County and using stolen identities to write bogus checks used at Wal-Mart stores.”
  • TARZANA, California: CBS Los Angeles LAPD Busts Sophisticated Ring Of ‘Porch Pirates’ In San Fernando Valley; “The Los Angeles Police Department says it has busted a sophisticated package-theft ring that preyed on homeowners in the San Fernando Valley.”

Oct. 22:

  • NEW ULM, Minnesota: KNUJ Checks Being Stolen from Mail Boxes in Blue Earth County; “Checks are being stolen from mailboxes in Blue Earth County. According to the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office, the theft of the checks occurred between October 10-19. Several of the checks were altered with a new payee’s name and attempted to be passed at Mankato area banks.”
  • ATLANTA, Georgia: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Elaborate check-cashing scheme targeted metro Atlanta mail; “An informant helped authorities unravel an elaborate identity theft and check-cashing scheme involving stolen government checks, and now 19 Atlantans face federal prison after their convictions in the case.”
  • FORTUNA, California: Times Standard Fortuna police arrest mail theft suspect; “On Wednesday at approximately 1 p.m., officers with the Fortuna Police Department responded to the 200 block of Randolph Way for a Hispanic male subject going door to door looking into mail boxes of residences.”
  • AMARILLO, Texas: Amarillo Police arrest man for stealing mail packages; “20 year old Nicholas Whipkey was arrested Wednesday by APD officers on two counts of theft property after police received a tip that he may have been taking packages from front porches.”

Nicholas Whipkey

Amarillo Mail Thief

  • FORTUNA, California: Lost Coast Outpost Fortuna Police Catch Suspected Mailbox Burglar Hiding in Port-a-Potty; “Officers arrived in the area and were directed to the creek area were the subject was last observed. Officer’s located mail that had been opened that returned to a residence on Randolph. Officers checked the creek area and were unable to locate the subject. Working on a tip from a concerned citizen, officers were directed to the area of the 300 Block of N. Fortuna Blvd. Officers responded to a trailer and located Jesus Ramirez Yanez 29 years old from Salinas, CA who was hiding in a portable toilet.”

Oct. 23:

  • MARION COUNTY, Oregon: Statesman Journal Marion County criminal convictions, Oct. 20-23; “Russell, Kathy Arlene: Identity Theft, Mail Theft or Receipt of Stolen Mail, Possession of Methamphetamine, Oct. 19.”
  • IRWINDALE, California: San Gabriel Valley Tribune – Irwindale officer finds stolen mail, nab suspected identity thieves; “A driver and his passenger were arrested Friday after an officer discovered stolen mail from about 30 people and personal information on 46 others in their sports utility vehicle, police said.”
  • GARDEN CITY, Minnesota: Mankato Free Press Garden City man accused of mail tampering, cashing stolen checks; “A Garden City man caught on surveillance camera attempting to cash a stolen check at a Mankato bank is facing felony check forgery and misdemeanor theft as well as mail tampering charges.
  • VENTURA COUNTY, California: Simi Valley Mail Thieves Arrested; “The sprawling suburbs of Simi Valley, nestled in the foothills between Camarillo and Thousand Oaks—and home to a substantial population of law enforcement and fire department families—is probably not the best place to be committing crimes against either people or property. But that memo may have been overlooked by four individuals perpetrating a series of thefts from residential mail boxes over recent months.”
  • DINUBA, California: Visalia Times Federal jury convicts Dinuba man; “After a three-day trial, a federal jury found Shannon Lester Sorrells, 37, of Dinuba, guilty in Fresno Thursday of five counts of bank fraud, one count of possession of stolen mail and one count of aggravated identity theft.”
  • MANKATO, Minnesota: Mankato Free Press – Garden City man accused of mail tampering, cashing stolen checks; “Deputies with the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department started getting reports about checks being stolen out of mailboxes in the rural Madison Lake area on Tuesday. A man stopped at the county’s Justice Center to report mail had been taken from his mailbox, and that mail included eight checks. The checks were stolen sometime Oct. 12-13.
  • THOUSAND OAKS, California: Ventura County Star – Pair accused of stealing mail out of vehicles in Thousand Oaks; “Detectives found a large amount of stolen mail out of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, blank checks and stolen identification cards at a home in the 2000 block of Willow Tree Court Thursday, officials said.”


Oct. 24:

Thieves stealing mail at 718 N. Croft Ave. in June (date and time on photo are not accurate)

Oct. 25:

Oct. 26:

  • BOZEMAN, Montana: KBZK 7 Accused mail thief facing more criminal charges; “Dedycker was arrested last February and charged with mail theft.  She’s accused of stealing mail from at least 60 people.  She is also charged with stealing form a Belgrade business. Now she also faces another felony charge for writing bad checks.”

Katlyn Dedycker (MTN Image)

Oct. 27:

The College Acres neighborhood is filled with both students and residents, but lately some of the residents have noticed an increase in theft and vandalism. (Source: WECT)


Oct. 28:

  • FREMONT COUNTY, Wyoming: Dispatch: Mail theft investigated; “At 5:03 p.m. on Tuesday, police took a report of a possible mail theft. The caller had clipped out-going mail to the outside of the mail box, and now it was gone.”
  • ALTUS, Oklahoma: ABC 7 1 arrested, more expected in Altus identity theft case; “Altus police say as many as 150 people may have been targeted, and they are still sorting through evidence. Police say Jackson was taking other people’s mail and getting their personal information. He was using it to apply for credit cards using their names and having them sent to his home as well as making fake IDs.”
  • ANCHORAGE, Alaska: KTUU 2 Leader of mail theft ring, nicknamed ‘Superman,’ sentenced to 14 years; “According to prosecutors, 45 year-old Jonathan Ortiz Escalante, known also as “Superman,” was the leader of a mail theft ring in Anchorage that exchanged methamphetamine for stolen mail, checks and identification cards.”
  • ALTUS, Oklahoma: Altus Times Altus Police nabs identity thief: Suspect arrested on multiple charges including mail fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft; “Altus Police Chief Tim Murphy said that what could have potentially involved countless victims of mail fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft has been nixed. Altus Police are currently investigating a case where a suspect has attempted to obtain and use credit cards, used fraudulent credit cards and fraudulent identification cards in an attempt to make purchases.”

Jonathan Ortiz Escalante, aka “Superman,” was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for drug dealing and running a mail theft ring.

Oct. 29:

  • HERCULES, California: Contra Costa Times Hercules: Caution urged after mail thefts; “Police are asking residents to keep close watch on mailboxes after two reports of mail theft just doors apart on the same block Wednesday.
  • WILLITS, California: KRCRTVReport of mail theft leads to 3 arrests; “Three people were arrested after Mendocino County deputies responded to the 6000 block of Ridgewood Road regarding the theft of mail from a roadside mailbox.”
  • NEWTON, Kansas: The Kansan Document thieves apprehended; “At 11:51 Oct. 26, a female resident of the 900 block of Spencer Road reached out to Newton Police. She reported opening her mailbox to discover the theft of financial documents, those she had placed in the box only moments before.”
  • ALTUS, Oklahoma: The Lawton Constitution Altus Police Probe Identity Theft, Fraud; “Police Chief Tim Murphy said that after obtaining a search warrant for the suspect’s vehicle, numerous pieces of stolen mail were recovered along with stolen checks and a list of information compiled for identity theft. There was also evidence discovered that identification documents had been altered.”
  • COBB COUNTY, Georgia: WSB-TV 2 Couple says their stolen $10 check cashed for nearly $5,000; “The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a spike in mail theft and check-washing cases in the Mableton area.”

Family says check stolen out of mailbox

Oct. 30:

  • BROOKLAND, Arkansas: KSLA 12 – Police: Veteran victimized by mailbox thief; “According to a Craighead County Sheriff’s report, a veteran had medication stolen from his mailbox.”
  • CLEVELAND, Ohio: Shaker Heights Police Blotter; “Theft from mail, Scottsdale Boulevard: At noon on Oct. 26, a resident told police someone stole a check that was mailed to their home.”

Oct. 31:

  • ASHCAMP, Kentucky: Appalachian News-Express Police: Mailbox baseball led to chase; “A teenager from Ashcamp was arrested following civilian complaints of a person in a vehicle was knocking over mailboxes on Rockhouse Road at Marrowbone just after midnight on Friday morning.

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