Mail Identity Theft: August 2015

Here is a round-up of mail and identity theft news stories from across the nation in the month of August. Remember, prevention is key, and it starts with a secure locking mailbox!

Aug. 1:

  • LYNNWOOD, Washington: Woman held as police investigate allegedly stolen mail; “Armed with a court order, police searched the vehicle July 28 and recovered the bags of mail. “We are estimating between 40 and 50 victims,” Lynnwood police Cmdr. Jim Nelson said.”

Aug. 2:

  • ELK GROVE, Minnesota: Star News Police Report; “Theft of mail was reported July 19 on 181st Avenue. An Elk River woman, 28, told police that a personal check that had been sent by a relative was taken and cashed July 15 by an unknown person using the name of “Brian.””
  • MUNCIE, Indiana: The Star Press Woman charged with stealing mail; “A Losantville woman is accused of stealing letters and packages from mailboxes in a north Muncie neighborhood.”

-Sherry Fisher.JPG_20150731.jpg

Aug. 3:

Sherry Lynn Fisher, 39

  • OPP, Alabama: Dothan Eagle Opp woman charged in mail thefts; “Hill said the charges stemmed from checks which police believe were stolen from mailboxes at local Samson residences.”

Alicia Chase

Aug. 4:

  • OLYMPIA, Washington: KOMO 4 Residents use surveillance, social media to fight off mail thieves; “Video taken from an infrared camera shows a car pulling up to a line of mailboxes on Tag Lane Northwest in Olympia in the early hours of Thursday morning. A man in the passenger seat appears to use a flashlight to open and then peer into mailboxes before the driver takes off. Mail theft is difficult to track because many victims don’t notify authorities, said Lt. Cliff Ziesemer with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. Often, someone might not realize their mail has been stolen until there’s an issue with a credit card or identify theft.”
  • BELVILLE, North Carolina: WECT 6 Mail theft reported in Brunswick County; “The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office is investigating reports of mail being stolen from mailboxes in residential homes in Belville. Several homeowners in the Olde Towne, Woodridge, and River Ridge subdivisions have reported their mail being stolen recently.”
  • WEST SEATTLE, Washington: West Seattle Blog West Seattle Crime Watch: Mail theft; abandoned bicycle; “Thanks to Leanne for reporting mail theft along 40th SW in Arbor Heights. “Neighbors found a couple envelopes and a birthday card in the ditch.””
  • BRUNSWICK COUNTY, North Carolina: Time Warner Cable News Brunswick Co. Sheriffs Investigating Reports of Mailbox Vandalism; “These incidents have happened in the Olde Towne, Woodridge and River Ridge subdivisions. Authorities are urging the public to take the mail out of their box as soon as possible.”
  • OLYMPIA, Washington: KBOI 2 Wash. residents use surveillance, social media to fight off mail thieves; “A South Sound neighborhood hit by a string of mail thefts is hoping surveillance video might help deliver justice. Video taken from an infrared camera shows a car pulling up to a line of mailboxes on Tag Lane Northwest in Olympia in the early hours of Thursday morning. A man in the passenger seat appears to use a flashlight to open and then peer into mailboxes before the driver takes off.”

Wash. residents use surveillance, social media to fight off mail thieves

  • SALT LAKE CITY, Utah: Massive identity theft ring uncovered in Salt Lake; “Officers from the Salt Lake City Police Financial Crimes Unit have arrested Valencia at a downtown hotel and confiscated thousands of documents with a search warrant. Found in the search: stolen and bogus bank and credit cars, personal and business checks, phony social security cards, property tax notices, insurance forms, credit card applications and other stolen mail.”

salt lake

Aug. 5:

  • PORTLAND, Maine: WGME 13 – I-Team: Best time to send your mail to avoid theft; “Investigators across the country say thieves are breaking in and stealing personal and private information you’ve dropped in the mail.
  • SAUHURITA, Arizona: Sauhurita Sun Thieves target mailboxes at Sahuarita Post Office; “Residents driving up to the two drive-thru mail collection boxes outside the Sahuarita Post Office on Wednesday were greeted with a sign: “Our Collection Boxes have been TAMPERED WITH!!!”
  • PORTLAND, Maine: WGME 13 – I-Team: Best time to send your mail to avoid theft; “You may want to think twice before you drop your mail in one of those outdoor blue postal collection boxes. Investigators across the country say thieves are breaking in and stealing personal and private information you’ve dropped in the mail.”
  • RADNOR TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania: Main Line Media Radnor Township Police Reports; “Stolen mail later found in neighbor’s yard in Wayne. A resident on Ravenscliff Road in Wayne reported finding several pieces of mail in the rear of his house July 22. The mail was taken from several of his neighbor’s houses. Some of the mail had been opened and some had not been opened.”
  • ROCKLIN, California: KCRA 3 Woman arrested after inquiring about visit at Placer Co. jail: Suspect linked to foiled Rocklin burglary; “A 21-year-old Lincoln woman who inquired about visiting an inmate at the Placer County Jail was arrested at the facility when an ID check revealed a $100,000 warrant for a burglary attempt at a Rocklin home, officials said Wednesday.”
  • PLACER COUNTY, California: Sacramento Bee Woman wanted in crime spree arrested after bolting from Placer jail: Suspect ran from jail, but deputy caught up with her as she approached her car; “She was detained, along with a passenger in the car, Jeffrey Weber Duke, 31, of Greenwood. Inside the car was methamphetamine, heroin, morphine pills, stolen mail, stolen identification, a loaded gun and tools that are used to commit burglary, according to a Rocklin police crime summary.”

Bianca Faviola Garcia

Aug. 6:

  • SANTA CLARITA VALLEY, California: Blotter: Burglaries, Thefts, GTA on West Side; “A mail theft occurred on the corner of Kavenaugh Ln / Singer Pl. Person(s) unknown stole incoming and outgoing mail from 4 mailboxes in the area.”

Aug. 7:

Chief warns residents to properly dispose of mail

Junette A. Short


Aug. 8:

  • WALLA WALLA, Washington: Walla Walla Bulletin Court report – 8/9/15; “Trevor G. Gorsline, 30, no permanent address listed, was charged July 28 with second-degree burglary, third-degree theft, and possession of stolen mail.”

Aug. 9:

  • SAHUARITA, Arizona: Tucson KVOA Mail theft reported in Sahuarita; “The U.S.P.S.’s Postal Inspection Service in Tucson confirmed that there has been at least two incidents of mail theft from the collection boxes. However, it is unclear when it happened.”

Photo courtesy: Sarah Reilly

Aug. 10:

  • HILLSBORO, Oregon: Hillsboro police log for Aug. 2-8: mail taken; “Aug. 3 Mail was stolen from a residence in the 2000 block of Southeast 32nd Avenue. Aug. 4 Packages were stolen from a residence in the 7000 block of Southeast Wrenfield Street.”
  • GREEN VALLEY, Arizona: Green Valley News Public Safety Briefs: Mailboxes targeted outside post office; “Residents driving up to the two drive-thru mail collection boxes outside the Sahuarita Post Office on Wednesday were greeted with a sign: “Our Collection Boxes have been TAMPERED WITH!!!””
  • MALIBU, California: Malibu Surfside News Police Reports; “A person’s mail was stolen from the mailbox of their residence on Morning View Drive. The mail contained a Verizon gift card and an outlet plug for a Ford F-150 truck.”
  • MONTROSE, Colorado: Montrose Press Mail-theft defendants avoid prison; “Two women accused in a string of mail thefts last year would do anything to feed their respective drug habits, it was said in court Monday — but they took responsibility and said they wanted to make amends.”
  • NEW YORK, New York: CBS New York – Police: Man Stole Mail, Burned Off Names From Checks And Cashed Them; “Police on Monday identified a suspect who they believe stole mail from residents around the city and cashed their money orders.”

Police believe Gilroy Pacheco stole mail from residents of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, burned the payees' names off checks, and cashed them himself. (Credit: NYPD)

Aug. 11:

  • ATLANTA, Georgia: WSB 2 – Woman finds stolen mail scattered along Buckhead streets; “Neighbors say someone stole their mail and left it scattered along several streets in Buckhead.”
  • ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Michigan: WSBT 22 – Woman could face federal charges after brief chase, stealing mail; “Stealing mail is a federal offense, but there are some things you can do to help keep your mail and yourself safe. “A couple of things we advise is for folks, if you have those concerns, get a locking mail box. They have them around, they’re not too expensive and they work fairly well,” said Thompson.”
  • SAHUARITA, Arizona: Sahuarita Sun Sahuarita Post Office installs tamper-proof mailboxes; “The Sahuarita Post Office installed two new, more secure drive-thru mail collection boxes Monday following two mail theft incidents in recent weeks, according to a U.S. Postal Service spokesman.”

Mail thefts

Aug. 12:

  • CAMBRIA, California: The Cambrian – Mail thefts reported in Leimert neighborhood of Cambria; “Keep your eyes open, collect your mail from unsecured mailboxes as soon as possible after it’s delivered, and if you see something that seems wrong or out of place, call the Sheriff’s Office at 781-4550. That’s the advice Tuesday, Aug. 11, from Cambria Postmaster Brian Machado, after a midmorning mail-theft incident the day before, as reported by residents in the Leimert neighborhood.”
  • SPRINGFIELD, Missouri: KSPR 33 – String of mailbox thefts in north Springfield neighborhood; “The Springfield Police Department is investigating a series of mail theft in north Springfield. It’s happening on McClernon Street, just north of Interstate 44.”
  • SANTA CLARITA, California: SCV News Blotter: Auto, ID Thefts on West Side; “A theft by credit card / vandalism / mail theft occurred on the 25900 block of Verandah Ct. Person(s) unknown pried open the rear door of the victim’s mailbox and stole his mail. The victim stated he later learned that $1,220 was charged on his credit card which was also stolen from his mailbox.”
  • RALEIGH, North Carolina: WRAL Thieves hit mailboxes in North Hills; “Neighbors in North Hills have reported a rash of thefts from their mailboxes, with thieves swiping everything from greeting cards to checks.”

John Rees

Aug. 13:

  • KING COUNTY, Washington: Auburn Reporter Prolific identity thief sentenced to 7 years in prison; “After they stole personal and financial information from 44 people in King and Pierce counties, Junette Short and her band of fraudsters and identity thieves used counterfeit checks and credit cards to suck money from their bank accounts.”
  • TOWAMENCIN, Pennsylvania: The Reporter Online – Police: Mail thief targeted Towamencin residents; “Towamencin police are investigating the theft of mail from numerous residences in the overnight hours between Monday, Aug. 10 and Tuesday, Aug. 11.”
  • AMERICAN CANYON, California: Napa Valley Register American Canyon police identify mail box theft suspect; “American Canyon police have identified a suspect in the summer-long rash of mailbox vandalism and thefts, and have asked for charges from the Napa County District Attorney.”

  • WAUSAU, Wisconsin: WSAW 7 Trial dates set in Wausau mail theft cases; “Two people accused of stealing mail from residential mailboxes are expected to head to trial in November. Court documents state the two would take items from mailboxes and would use what was stolen to get money or order other items.”

  • SAHUARITA, Arizona: Tucson News Now Men arrested in mail theft, check fraud case; “A Tucson area man and a man from Green Valley have been accused of stealing mail and forging checks in Sahuarita, authorities said.”


  • TOWAMENCIN TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania: NBC Philadelphia Thieves May Have Tapped Into Your Mailbox; “Thieves are swiping checks from mailboxes in Towamencin Township, Montgomery County. The Towamencin Township Police Department is investigating complaints from residents who reported  mail missing on Monday, Aug. 10 — Tuesday, Aug. 11.

Aug. 14:

Part of Chevy Chase Section 3, which has seen six incidents of stolen or ripped up mail in the past few weeks

Aug. 16:

Aug. 17:

Police: security video shows suspects using stolen checks and card at ATMs in Linden, Elizabeth

Aug. 18:

  • MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota: CBS Minnesota Sheriff: Several Reports Of Stolen Mail In Stearns Co.; “According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received several calls from people in Avon Township, Brockway Township and Holdingford who reported mail missing from their boxes Tuesday.”
  • LOS ANGELES, California: ABC 7 Los Angeles city attorney launches aggressive plan against identity theft; “Feuer said his office is deepening and broadening its relationship with police and encouraging the public with the same reminders that we’ve heard for years. The reminders include shredding sensitive documents, locking up mail boxes and creating stronger passwords for online accounts.”
  • STEARNS COUNTY, Minnesota: Stearns County Sheriff investigates apparent rash of mail thefts; “Their checks haven’t arrived and their bills aren’t getting paid – because of an apparent mail theft in central Minnesota.”
  • VALENCIA, California: Crime Blotter: Burglaries, Thefts in Valencia; “A mail theft occurred near the 27100 block of Highlands Lane. An unknown suspect stole two packages from his porch. The items were confirmed as delivered by USPS.”

Aug. 19:

Aug. 20:

  • CULLMAN, Alabama: Cullman Times Former downtown Cullman business owner indicted for fraud; “A four-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Casey Michelle Hardiman, 31, with two counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of possessing stolen mail.”

Casey Hardiman mug

Allison Leigh McLeod

Eric Scott Clark

Aug. 21:

Aug. 23:

  • SEQUIM, Washington: Peninsula Daily News Clallam County sheriff’s deputies arrest Sequim man, recover bags of stolen mail; “Five shopping bags of mail containing 600 separate letters stolen from 200 different addresses in Clallam County were recovered early Friday after sheriff’s deputies arrested a Sequim man, authorities said.
  • SHAKOPEE, Minnesota: Shakopee Valley News Police report; “Mail theft was reported at 10:29 a.m. on the 6900 block of Bass Court. Mail theft was reported at 10:58 a.m. on the 6800 block of Bass Court. Mail theft was reported at 11:05 a.m. on the 6800 block of Bass Court. Mail theft was reported at 11:08 a.m. on the 6800 block of Bass Court. Mail theft was reported at 11:29 a.m. on the 2300 block of Pike Lake Road. Theft of mail was reported at 11:36 a.m. on the 8000 block of Horizon Drive.”

Aug. 24:

Melvin Gregory

Aug. 25:

Mail thefts reported in south Charlotte, Matthews neighborhoods


Aug. 26:

  • CLALLAM COUNTY, Washington: Sequim Gazette Deputies arrest Carlsborg mail thief; “During the search of Haynes’ residence, deputies recovered drug paraphernalia, stolen mail, a suspected stolen .22 caliber rifle and a homemade firearm suppressor (silencer), made from a used oil filter.
  • MEMPHIS, Tennessee: WMC 5 13 indicted in counterfeit check scheme; “According to Stanton, Mathis stole checks from mailboxes at Cordova businesses.  Most of the stolen checks came from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union’s local chapter.”
  • MEMPHIS, Tennessee: WREG 3 Thirteen indicted in fake check scam; “A woman was caught on camera, hanging out in a church parking lot while waiting on the mailman to visit the office across the street. “Running to the mailbox, getting the mail, and running back to the car,” described Rose Turner.”
  • MEMPHIS, Tennessee: 13 Memphians indicted in counterfeit check cashing scheme; “Officials say Eureka Mathis was the ringleader, stealing checks from a local union representing Kroger employees. Authorities also say she recruited others to help her. Then they changed the names on the checks and cashed them at Krogers, Walmarts and banks nationwide.”
  • PEARLAND, Texas: Friendswood police bust lab producing meth, pot and psychedelic drug DMT; “This investigation was generated as a result of a mail theft case in mid-August when a witness in the 500 block of Mary Ann called police to report that he observed a woman in a black Toyota stealing mail from two of his neighbors’ mailboxes.”

  • CAMPBELL, California: San Jose Mercury News Campbell Blotter; “Theft–Aug. 18, 11:50 p.m. Sunnyoaks Avenue and Dell Avenue. A driver was found in possession of stolen mail, credit cards and identification cards. The suspect was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.”
  • FRIENDSWOOD, Texas: Mail theft investigation leads cops to psychedelic drug lab bust; “Other drugs seized from the apartment included: 7.2 pounds of marijuana, 198.2 grams of methamphetamine, 14 grams of cocaine, 10.9 grams of heroin, 400 units of LSD, 141 units of MDMA (Ecstasy), 235 units of Xanax, 12 units of Hydrocodone, 15 units of Phenobarbital, eight units of Oxycodone, 13 units of Adderall, 1.8 grams of Suboxone, 2.6 grams of butane-extracted hash oil, also known as “shatter”, 11.4 grams of an unknown brown rock substance and a handgun. This investigation was generated as a result of a mail-theft case from last week when a witness in the 500 block of Mary Ann told police he saw a woman in a black Toyota stealing mail from two of his neighbors’ mailboxes.

Lance Ruel Setliff, 38, of Houston, was charged with Manufacture Delivery of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1. His bond was set at $10,000. Setliff was charged in Federal courts following a Friendswood arrest for drug dealing and weapons charges in October 2008. He was released from Federal custody on July 15, 2014 and is currently on supervised release with the U. S. Probation Office in Houston. Photo: Friendswood Police

Aug. 27:

  • MANHATTAN BEACH, California: Easy Reader News – Police Beat in Manhattan Beach; “An officer located an illegally parked vehicle on the 2200 block of Ocean Drive that was occupied by two subjects on Aug. 14 at midnight, according to MBPD reports.  An investigation revealed drug paraphernalia and stolen mail inside the vehicle and both subjects were arrested.”
  • BAKERSFIELD, California: Bakersfield Now $10K reward offered in stolen mail case; “A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a man suspected of stealing mail.”
  • MANHATTAN BEACH, California: The Beach Reporter Crime Reports: Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach; “On Friday, Aug. 14, on the 2200 block of Ocean Drive, an officer located an illegally parked vehicle that was occupied by two subjects. An investigation revealed drug paraphernalia and stolen mail inside the vehicle and both subjects were arrested.”
  • ROSEVILLE, California: Rocklin and Roseville Today Roseville Crime Report Digest Update; “Highland Reserve, mail theft, arrest made:  At 11:39 a.m. August 22, officers responded to a report of someone breaking into mail boxes in the area of Winslow Drive and Fifteen Mile Drive.  About an hour later, a Rocklin resident reported the same suspect breaking into a mailbox in Rocklin.  Rocklin Police responded and arrested a 32-year-old male Oroville resident on suspicion of theft, possession of stolen property and other related charges.  They recovered stolen mail, checks, ID cards and evidence of identity theft.”

Aug. 28:

Davelynn Mahi. Courtesy photo.


Aug. 29:

Aug. 30:

  • FRIDLEY, Minnesota: Sun Focus Police reports from Fridley August 13-19; “Mail was reported stolen Aug. 15 of the 100 block of 62nd Way NE. A residential mail box was reported damaged Aug. 14 on the 1500 block of 73rd Avenue NE.

Aug. 31:

  • LAS VEGAS, Nevada: Rip-Off Alert: Declined debit card leads to ID theft ring; “Postal inspectors were able to link the declined card and the personal debit card to track the ID thieves. Here’s how it started: Chase Bank recognized a pattern of fraudulent accounts being opened. “Someone was opening up credit cards and taking over people’s existing credit card accounts,” Fascio said.”


  1. Aquan on September 21, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Despite so much of security and efficient mail box services the thefts have been increasing over the last few years. This is really disappointing. There is threat to everything now days including credit cards, mail boxes, bank accounts and everything else with a monetary value.

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