West University Place Police Department blotter, May 2
Ultimate West U – 5/3/11
(HOUSTON, TEXAS) “[…] THEFT: April 26, 8 a.m.: Outgoing mail was reportedly stolen from a mailbox in the 2600 block of Werlein Avenue. […]”
COMMENTS: Thieves target your outgoing mail because it is not secure and it often contains checks, or credit card information for bill payments. Never send this sensitive financial information from an unsecured mailbox. Instead bring bill payments directly to the post office or use online bill pay – it’s more secure.
In addition, be sure your incoming mail is safe from would-be identity thieves. In your mailbox criminals can find a plethora of sensitive ID information, from bank account statements to W2s and credit card offers. Use a high security locking mailbox like the Mail Boss to prevent mail-identity theft.
Thief steals mailbox, and more
TribLocal Frankfort – 4/29/11
(FRANKFORT, ILLINOIS) “Theft: A roadside mailbox was reported stolen April 22 from the 8100 block of West Dralle Road in unincorporated Frankfort.”
COMMENTS: It’s not so much the theft of the mailbox that is the problem, but rather, all the sensitive personal and financial documents inside of it. Protect your identity with a secure locking mailbox that cannot be easily violated. Install it properly to ensure it cannot be taken. These are absolute musts in the world today, as identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the nation.
Police Blotter: Vehicle and Home Burglaries Reported
Piedmont Patch – 4/28/11
(PIEDMONT, CALIFORNIA) “MONDAY, APRIL 18: Two Cases of ID Theft and One of Mail Theft – At 12:29 p.m., a man from the 1700 block of Trestle Glen Road reported being a victim of tax ID theft. At 1:38 p.m., a woman reported that mail had been taken out of locked mail boxes on the 100 block of Somerset Road. At 4:55 p.m., a man from the 400 block of Pala Avenue reported being the victim of ID theft.”
COMMENTS: Most locking mailboxes are not truly secure. They can be pried open with a screwdriver in seconds, and the “hopper style” locked mailboxes available at the big box stores can actually be fished by hand! (Learn more here.) To protect yourself, use a high quality locked mailbox like the Mail Boss that cannot be easily violated.
Police looking for suspected mail-theft ringleader
NBC9 – 4/28/11
(ARVADA, COLORADO) “Police and the United States Postal inspectors asked the 9Wants to Know investigators to post surveillance pictures of a woman thought to be part of a large mail-theft ring.
“This is a very prolific group of suspects operating throughout our community. We need to identify these individuals and stop this mail theft ring,” Arvada Police Spokeswoman Susan Medina said.
More than 20 victims have lost a combined $100,000 after their identities were stolen, says Medina. The mail-theft ring stretches from Denver to Wyoming, Utah, California and New Mexico, she says.
Police suspect the crooks steal checks from people’s outgoing mailboxes and create counterfeit checks.
The pictures show a woman in a post office walking to the counter. The postal inspectors say she tried to pass a fake check there.
Another picture shows a heavy-set man who police think is involved in the ring. There is also a picture of the car police think he drives.
If you have information, call the U.S. Postal Inspectors hotline at 303-313-5311. The U.S. Postal inspectors are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction.”
COMMENTS: ID theft is the fastest growing crime in the country, and stealing mail is one of the easiest and most common ways thieves obtain your sensitive personal and financial information. Unfortunately, a high security locking mailbox is a must-have in the world today to protect yourself and your good name. The Mail Boss is one good option that cannot be fished by hand or easily pried open, and it is available at your local hardware store.
The Kansas City Star – 4/26/11
(OLATHE, KANSAS) “[…] West 105th Street, 19700 block: Stolen U.S. mail containing medication. 3:06 p.m. April 11. […]”
COMMENTS: There is an easy way to prevent mail-package theft: use a high security locking mailbox like the Mail Boss! If you receive prescriptions in the mail regularly, consider the Package Master, which securely receives and stores small parcels and packages. You can find the curbside Mail Boss models in your local hardware store, and in Olathe at Westlake Ace.
Crime Watch: Latest property crimes reported in Clay County
The Florida Times-Union – 4/25/11
(CLAY COUNTY, FLORIDA) “Thefts April 1: […] A package was stolen from a mail box at an apartment complex on Arora Boulevard, Orange Park. The lock on the mail box appeared to have been tampered with. […]”
COMMENTS: Most mailbox locks are exceedingly easy to violate. The good ol’ BIC pen trick is enough to pop out many locks, and for the rest, a simple household screwdriver is usually adequate to pry open the lock. To protect yourself from the growing crime of mail-identity theft, use a quality locking mailbox like the Mail Boss. With the patented anti-pry latch locking mechanism and a high-security 7-pin tube lock, the Mail Boss offers formidable protection.
From the Police Log: Vandalism, Burglaries, Mail Theft
Corona del Mar Today – 4/25/11
(CORONA DEL MAR, CALIFORNIA) “[…] Police also took a report of mail theft in the 200 block of Driftwood Road. The theft, which resulted in a loss of $18, occurred sometime between April 1 and 14, police reports state. […]”
COMMENTS: A security locking mailbox like Mail Boss will prevent mail-identity theft, securing your personal documents until you retrieve them with your key. In the Corona del Mar area, you can find the Mail Boss at Crown Ace Hardware.
Police investigating mail-, identity-theft operation: Tulsa police detectives have uncovered a mail- and identity-theft operation that has more than 280 possible victims in Tulsa and Pittsburg Counties, authorities said Thursday.
Tulsa World – 4/22/11
Police have found counterfeit checks, counterfeit identification cards, titles to cars, insurance cards and other various stolen items, she said.
Compton said the thieves stole mail during burglaries with the intent to commit identity theft – the most popular complaint made to the Federal Trade Commission, according to that organization. […]”
COMMENTS: Go to your local Ace Hardware to find the Mail Boss locking security mailbox – it is your best defense against the nation’s fastest growing crime of mail-identity theft.
Woman Arrested For Mail Theft
KTUL – 4/21/11
(TULSA, OKLAHOMA) “A woman is arrested an could face federal charges for stealing mail from hundreds of people in Tulsa and Pittsburg Counties. Right now investigators are not releasing the woman’s identity pending the outcome of the federal probe.
Detectives located the suspect while investigating the burglary of a home belonging to a senior citizen, and the subsequent passing of stolen checks from the victim’s bank account.
Once detectives began questioning the women they say she produced several bags containing stolen mail. In all detectives have located over 280 victims of mail theft and identity theft related crimes.
The suspect is currently out on bond.”
COMMENTS: Thieves can find a wealth of personal information for identity theft right in your mailbox. To secure your identity, use the Mail Boss high security locking mailbox, available in Tulsa at Westlake Ace Hardware.
Local man accused of forging, stealing checks from the mail
WHAS11 – 4/21/11
Earl Crawford is charged with ID theft and mail theft.
Police say Crawford stole an ID to open a bank account at Stock Yards Bank and then wrote three forged checks stolen from the mail.
Police say he caused a loss of $10,836 to Stock Yards Bank.”
COMMENTS: Mail identity theft is a real and growing problem. You should use a high security locking mailbox to secure your incoming mail including bank statements, credit card offers, social security statements and more. Never send sensitive documents such as checks from an unsecured mailbox, as savvy thieves can steal them to obtain your checking account information, which can be used to create fraudulent checks and a big nightmare for you! Whenever possible use online bill pay – it’s significantly more secure than sending checks via the mail. As always shred sensitive documents (most of which come in the mailbox) before discarding them to thwart dumpster divers.
(TULSA, OKLAHOMA) “One person is arrested after police discover three duffel bags full of stolen mail – all of it loaded with personal information.
Detectives say they’ve never seen anything like it.
“We find occasionally a person with maybe four or five pieces of mail on them when they’re trying to cash a stolen check but nothing to this magnitude,” says Cheryl Compton with Tulsa Police Department.
Officials say the investigation started when they were looking into some stolen checks that were being passed around to local merchants. They were led to a female suspect. After questioning, she handed over the mail. Detectives say it had been stolen from neighborhoods in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, and McAlester.
Michele Cowen lives in one of the hardest hit areas and thinks the crime is disgusting. She says there’s already a problem with break-ins.
“Now to hear that the mail is being stolen, what’s that all about,” Cowen says.
There are six victims on her street alone, but in total there are more than 280 victims. Experts say the best way to protect your mail from theft is to get a locked mailbox.
Detectives also suggest picking up your mail from the post office, and handing outgoing mail directly to the postman.
Police say there may be more victims.
They’ve arrested one suspect, but detectives believe there are two others involved. They are now working with postal officials and are looking to bring federal charges.
They ask anyone who feels they may be a victim should file a police report at this link www.tulsapolice.org/.”
COMMENTS: Tulsa is being hit hard by mail theft right now. If you don’t already have a secure mailbox, now would be the time to get one. A quality locking mailbox can keep you safe from would-be identity thieves. You can find the Mail Boss in Tulsa at Westlake Ace Hardware.
Police investigating mail theft operation: Tulsa police detectives have uncovered a mail theft and identity theft operation that has more than 280 possible victims in Tulsa and Pittsburg Counties, police said Thursday.
Tulsa World – 4/21/11
(TULSA, OKLAHOMA) “Detectives have been sifting through bags of stolen mail for two weeks and notifying victims, Tulsa police Detective Cheryl Compton said.
In the investigation, police have found counterfeit checks, counterfeit identification cards, titles to cars, insurance cards and other various stolen items, she said.
Compton said the suspects stole mail during burglaries with the intent of committing identity theft — the current most popular complaint in the nation to the Federal Trade Commission, according to the organization.
“That’s what they steal now … mail to commit identity theft,” Compton said.
Compton and Detective Don Wright began to share information on their respective cases involving stolen checks and a burglary of a senior citizen’s home, police said.
Police said they have interviewed suspects in the investigation and have three possible arrests associated with the thefts.
When one suspect was contacted by police, she allegedly produced several bags containing the stolen mail, police reported.
Compton said a U.S. Postal Inspector has been involved in the investigation, and federal charges may be filed in the case.
Police have notified as many victims as they can, including victims from 54 police reports related to stolen items, Compton said.
“If you have not been notified, you are not a victim,” Compton said.”
COMMENTS: Mail stolen during burglaries? More likely it was simply taken right out of the victims’ mailboxes, since most are unlocked. When you think of all the sensitive information that comes in the mail, it is a wonder more people aren’t victims of identity theft, and even still it’s the fastest growing crime in the country. Most people do not even realize their mail has been stolen until it is too late. In this case, at least the authorities were able to notify victims.
If you receive your mail in a curbside mailbox, you are vulnerable. In the world today, it is a sad and unfortunate necessity to have a quality locking mailbox to keep thieves from stealing your personal information for identity theft. One quality option is the Mail Boss – it can’t be fished by hand or easily pried open with a screwdriver. Ask for it by name at your local Ace Hardware.
Augusta identity thieves sentenced
The Augusta Chronicle – 4/20/11
(SAVANNAH, GEORGIA) “Jamie L. Lawrence, 33, and Antonio R. McNeal, 25, both of Augusta, were sentenced Tuesday to 42 and 36 months imprisonment, respectively, based on their earlier guilty pleas to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, evidence presented showed that law enforcement searched the apartments of both men last June and found identity information stolen from about 80 victims.
Both men used those stolen identities to apply for approximately one dozen credit cards before they were apprehended.
In addition to their prison sentences, Lawrence and McNeal were each ordered to pay restitution, $1,000 fines, as well as serve three years of supervised release after they get out of prison, the news release said.”
COMMENTS:Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the nation, and one of the most common ways thieves obtain your sensitive information is by stealing mail. Most people do not realize their mail has been taken and therefore are unable to identify how they became victims of ID theft – the majority of ID theft victims in fact have no idea how their info was stolen. To protect yourself use a high quality locked mailbox like the Mail Boss. It cannot be fished by hand or easily pried open with a screwdriver, and provides unrivaled security against mail theft as well as vandalism. Find the Mail Boss at Islands Ace Hardware in Savannah, or ask for it by name at your local hardware store.
Tax statements found on road
The Brazil Times – 4/19/11
(CLAY COUNTY, INDIANA) “Clay County Treasurer Debbie James recently informed The Brazil Times of several tax statements that were found in the Twin Beach area.
James told The Times a local resident found approximately seven tax statements in the area and brought them back to the Treasurer’s Office.
James said the local resident found the statements off the side of a road.
“I have contacted these people,” James said. “I’m just afraid there might be several more. These are just the ones (the local resident) found. There could be more than this that were removed and weren’t found. I’m worried there may have been a lot more.”
James said she has contacted the Clay County Sheriff’s Department regarding the issue, in addition to the Brazil City Post Office.
Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said the person that discovered the property tax statements found them near Seelyville in Vigo County. All of the statements, however, were for Clay County residents.
Heaton said the case is under investigation, adding that theft of mail is a class D felony punishable with up to three years in prison.
He said there were several unknown variables involved in the investigation, including officials did not know if the pieces of mail had been opened or if other mail was missing.
“We’re dealing with a lot of unknowns at this time,” Heaton said.
He added theft of mail has taken place in Clay County in the past.
“We’ve had cases where people were stealing (mail), but nothing recently,” he said. “We’ve had stolen mail before, but these particular things all dumped, tax statements, it’s an oddity.”
Heaton said CCSD had contacted the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department to see if there had been other recent investigations into mail theft in the area. […]”
COMMENTS: Stolen mail is one of the leading causes of identity theft and it is not hard to see why. So much important sensitive information comes in your mailbox, including tax records with your social security number on it and more. Most people have unlocked mailboxes and anyone can walk by, open your mailbox and steal the contents. Victims often don’t realize when their mail has been stolen until it’s too late! In this case, the victims were lucky that a resident noticed the discarded tax documents and was able to alert the appropriate authorities. But there is really no way of knowing what else was taken or whether this will continue to be an ongoing problem. To protect yourself from the fastest growing crime of identity theft, use a high security locking mailbox like the Mail Boss that can’t be easily pried open with a screwdriver or fished by hand. You can find the Mail Boss at Rural King or your local Ace Hardware. Also, never send sensitive documents like checks from an unsecured mailbox, and always shred your personal information (much of which originates in the mail) before discarding it.
Police Log: Locker Burglar, Silly String and Serious Thefts
Pinole Patch 4/19/11
(PINOLE, CALIFORNIA) “Monday, April 11: […] – Mail theft was reported in the 900 block of Barkley Court. […]”
COMMENTS: Use a high security locking mailbox to prevent mail theft, as stolen mail is a leading cause of identity theft.