Mail-Identity Theft | March 2016

Mail thefts continue across the nation

Typically, December is the worst month for mail theft, as thieves are targeting mailboxes to steal checks and gift cards from the mail. However, mail thieves have not slowed down in 2016, and area targeting unlocked and low security locking mailboxes stealing sensitive information for fraud and identity theft.

Below you will find an interactive map of mail theft activity from March 2016. Markers are categorized by:

icons mail stolen Mail stolen
icons mailbox bulgarized 1 Mailbox burglary
icons mail theft warning Mail theft warning
icons mail theft arrest 1 Mail-ID theft arrest

You can click on a marker for more information and to link through to the story.

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With tax season past us now, we may see a decline in mail thefts… we certainly hope so, otherwise we won’t be able to keep up!

Regardless, please consider protecting your sensitive information from would-be identity thieves with a high quality security mailbox.

As always, we have curated the mail theft news for the month below:

March 1:

  • ORONO, Minnesota: Lakeshore Weekly News Orono police warn of mail theft; “The thieves are targeting mailboxes during the evening and overnight hours and appear to be focusing on outgoing checks, a release from the department notes.”
  • CHINO HILLS, California: Daily Bulletin Mailbox theft on the rise in Chino Hills; “Between Feb. 26 and Feb. 29, unknown people pried open mailboxes throughout the city in community and individual residential mailboxes, according to a sheriff’s statement.”
  • BAKERSFIELD, California: Bakersfield Now Man appears to be stealing mail in video; “Video shows a man appearing to steal mail at Truxtun Plaza in central Bakersfield. Bette Addington, who works in the building, said there have been three, possibly even more, break-ins since the middle of January.”
  • ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico: KRQE 13 – Albuquerque women plead guilty to stealing mail; “A criminal complaint says they pried open cluster mail boxes and stole mail from them. Inside their truck, authorities found stolen mail including altered checks, plus debit and credit cards.”


March 2:

  • BAKERSFIELD, California: Kern Golden Empire – Bakersfield man arrested on suspicion of mail theft; “Officers say they found several pieces of mail from various addresses that did not belong to Carroll.  Police said Carroll had a forged check and some sort of illegal weapon but did not specify.”
  • SPOKANE, Washington: KXLY Deputies bust woman who decorated home thanks to stolen credit cards; “Detectives say when they raided Yazbeck’s home they also found several hundred pieces of stolen mail inside. “They’ll use several pieces of mail to do that and once they get that information, they start applying for credit cards, they get things approved and they go on a shopping spree they know they can’t afford a they really don’t care what damage it causes to the victim,” Gregory said.”
  • CORONA, California: Lake Elsinore-Wildomar Patch – Felon Who Stole Mail to Perpetrate ID Theft Scam Sentenced; “Rascon stole mail and other items from residences throughout south Corona and the Temescal Valley, using information gleaned from the contents to commit identity theft and make purchases on victims’ credit, Brosche said.”

March 3:

  • LEITCHFIELD, Kentucky: Grayson Record Police looking into mail thefts; “While executing a search warrant Feb. 21 on an unrelated investigation, Leitchfield officers found several pieces of mail from multiple locations in Grayson, Hardin and Bullitt counties in a house of Brandenburg Road.”
  • AUSTIN, Texas: KXAN – Mailbox theft victims want lasting solutions; “One homeowner in the Copperfield neighborhood, who asked not to be identified, says he’s been hit twice in the past few months. “You feel like you’re violated, like your neighborhood is being violated,” he said. “We’re dealing with a situation that’s totally out of control, and there’s no solution in sight.””
  • LA CRESCENTA, California: Glendale News-Press – Man arrested for alleged mail theft in La Crescenta; “In the suspect’s car nearby, police found another fishing tool, as well as mail allegedly stolen from Glendale, Burbank, San Dimas, Arcadia, Santa Clarita and Los Angeles.”

Marlos Gonzalo Merlos

March 4:

  • HIGHLAND, California: Highland Community News Mail theft suspects caught; “On Thursday, March 3, 2016, at approximately 9:44 AM, Kimbro and Wilson were seen stealing mail from residents in the City of Loma Linda. They were quickly captured and arrested for multiple charges including; Forgery, Possessing Stolen Property and Conspiracy. They were both booked at the Central Detention Center for felony charges.”
  • ELKHART, Indiana: FOX 28 – Mail Theft Cases On the Rise in Elkhart; “A number of Elkhart businesses report their mail being stolen from their mailboxes. The Elkhart Police Department says it has received several reports of theft over the past few weeks.”
  • BAKERSFIELD, California: Bakersfield Now – Only misdemeanor charges filed in mail theft case; “Neighbors are upset when mail is stolen, and then they’re also concerned when suspects get only misdemeanor charges. Local authorities say they file the strongest charges they can.”
  • SAN ANTONIO, Texas: – USPI: Beware of mailbox thieves; “With thefts on the rise, it puts the people who rely on these boxes a little on edge. “It’s scary especially with identity theft going on and people getting their checks in the mail,” said Dipiazza.”
  • LAS VEGAS, Nevada: ABC 13 – Neighborhood says thieves broke into mailboxes; “Lemaster said she went out to the mailboxes one day in January and they were all empty with the doors left open. “They basically pry it open and there’s no consequences to these people,” she said.”

March 6:

  • WEST SEATTLE, Washington: West Seattle Blog – West Seattle Crime Watch: Mailbox prowler; “Carolyn says the video above is from 8:48 last night, at 8th SW and Elmgrove, with a would-be mail thief driving up, checking out the boxes, and moving on.”

March 7:

  • LOMA LINDA, California: Citizens Alert Deputies in Mail, Car Thefts, Two Arrested; “Two suspects, reportedly seen stealing mail, were taken into custody on Thursday in an ongoing investigation that began on February 29.”
  • BAKERSFIELD, California: The Fresno Bee Bakersfield resident unhappy with mail theft charges; “Some neighbors in Southern California are upset that a person suspected of stealing their mail is only facing misdemeanor charges.”
  • APPLE VALLEY, California: Victor Valley News Mail Theft Bust Leads to Evidence From Spring Valley Lake Burglary; “Four were arrested for mail and identity theft on Friday, March 4, 2016 after Victor Valley deputies responded to a report of mail theft in progress. Deputies responded to the area of Del Oro and Tujunga Roads where the reporting party witnessed several people stealing mail.”

March 8:

  • QUEENS, New York: New York Post Mail thief caught snatching letters from abandoned house; “Cops searched the thief and found him with 80 pieces of stolen mail, 30 credit cards and other sensitive personal documents, police said.”
  • NAPA VALLEY, California: Napa Valley Register – Thieves increasingly target residential mailboxes; “Increasingly, thieves are targeting residential mailboxes in a search of credit cards, cash and information that can enable them to steal your identity, local law enforcement reports. In just the first two months of this year, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office has received almost as many reports about mail theft as it did during all of 2015.”
  • BELLEVUE, Washington: Bellevue Reporter Issaquah man linked to 50 pounds of stolen mail; 118 Eastside victims identified; “A 22-year-old Issaquah man awaits charges for being found last month with more than 50 pounds of stolen mail addressed to Eastside residents.”
  • SAN DIEGO, California: East County neighbors warn of mail thief; “They checked another neighbor’s security camera and believe it caught a man casing the neighborhood and stealing from the Burnett’s mailbox. Burnett says she believes she walked past the man on her morning walk.”

  • SKYWAY, Washington: KOMO – Police: Skyway mom-daughter duo busted for ‘industrial-scale’ fraud ring; “There, officers found evidence of an “industrial-scale operation,” including a half-dozen fake IDs featuring the 26-year-old’s photo with different names, in addition to printers, blank checks, laptop computers, tablet computers and large boxes of jewelry, according to Seattle police. The garage was stuffed with suspected stolen tools, luggage and generators. Investigators also recovered 14 grams of methamphetamine, 10 pounds of marijuana and a handgun. Detectives believe the duo stole victims’ identifications through mail theft, burglaries and car prowls, then used that information to print fake IDs, rent cars and open bank accounts and credit cards, according to reports.”
  • SEATTLE, Washington: KIRO 7 Mother, daughter arrested in Seattle identity theft investigation; “A mother and daughter have been arrested, suspected of committing millions of dollars in fraud around the Puget Sound. Officers believe the 46-year-old and her 26-year-old daughter have been running an identity theft operation. Six fake Washington state IDs were found in the women’s home — featuring the daughter’s face with multiple names.”

Photo from the Seattle Police Department.

  • LAS VEGAS, Nevada: FOX 10 Valley woman returns from vacation to ID theft nightmare; “Allen was vacationing in Puerto Rico in February. The trip was cut short. She arrived home to find her home had been broken into. Thieves swiped her TVs, car, mail and Social Security card. “They since have tried to take out a loan using my 401(k). I have since intercepted the check,” Allen said. Allen furnished FOX5 with video of people breaking into her mailbox. She’s not sure if it’s the same people who broke into her home, but it’s possible.”

Surveillance still that may have captured in-progress mail theft in February 2016. (Source: FOX5 Report It)

March 9:

  • ISSAQUAH, Washington: The Issaquah Press Issaquah man facing up to 23 counts of possession of stolen mail; “A 23-year-old Issaquah man arrested on Mercer Island faces up to 23 counts of possession of stolen mail after authorities said they found 214 pieces of mail in the trunk of his car. Mercer Island police Detective Jeff Magnan said he has identified 118 alleged victims at over 70 addresses in Issaquah, Sammamish, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Seattle.”
  • TOPEKA, Kansas: Topeka woman found with stolen mail, drugs; “Thursday, authorities served a warrant in an investigation into a rash of mail thefts in the Topeka area that happened last week. Late last week, there were a large number of mail thefts in the Topeka area.”

March 10:

  • MERCER ISLAND, Washington: Mercer Island Reporter Several mail theft cases reported; “At 8:13 a.m., a bank of mailboxes in the 5200 block of 82nd Ave. SE was reported to be pried open and damaged. At 11:16 a.m., various items of mail, including health insurance information and bills, were reported stolen from the 8400 block of SE 62nd St. The victim’s mailbox had been broken into. Mailboxes were pried open at 11:32 a.m. in the 8100 block of Evergreen Lane and at 2:15 p.m. in the 3500 block of W. Mercer Way, causing damage. Two mailboxes sharing the same post were pried open at 3:06 p.m. in the 5600 block of 84th Ave. SE. A victim in the 8900 block of N. Mercer Way reported that mail had been stolen from her mailbox at 3:26 p.m. An Island man reported that his mailbox was pried open by some type of tool at 6:02 p.m. in the 6200 block of 86th Ave. SE, but didn’t know if any mail was stolen. A similar incident occurred at 5:47 p.m. in the 2800 block of 61st Ave. SE.”
  • SAN ANTONIO, Texas: KSAT 12 – Mail thieves on the move during tax season: Postal officials offers tips to prevent ID theft; “”This time of the year, we have a bunch of information related with tax information going through the postal service and the mail flow, so this becomes a target for anyone looking to commit identity theft,” Martinez-Partida said.”
  • BAKERSFIELD, California: – Local neighborhood catches mail thieves on camera; “Residents at the Bellagio gated community in Northwest Bakersfield say mail thieves struck again, but this time they were caught on video.”
  • LEXINGTON, South Carolina: Fitsnews Lexington SC Sheriff Seeks “Mail Thief”;“The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department has noticed an increase in the theft of mail from residential mailboxes,” a release from the department noted.  “There have been several reports of outgoing mail being stolen from mailboxes. There have been several reports in the Irmo area.””
  • TOPEKA, Kansas: KWCH 12  – Topeka authorities investigate mail theft: Authorities in Topeka have been investigating mail thefts that included more than $90,000 in stolen checks; “The Topeka Capital-Journal reports officers on Thursday recovered a U.S. Postal Service bin with more than 150 pieces of stolen mail and packages containing checks totaling more than $90,000.”

March 11:

PicMonkey Collage

March 12:

  • MENLO PARK, California: South Bay News South Bay Man Arrested For Slew of Mail, Identity Thefts; “Menlo Park police today arrested a suspect in the theft of mail, documents and other items from more than 30 people in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.”
  • WEST SEATTLE, Washington: West Seattle Blog – West Seattle Crime Watch: Mail theft; “Surveillance video caught someone stealing mail on Beach Drive near Lowman Beach around noon Friday.”

March 13:

  • SAN DIEGO, California: East County Magazine Mail Thieves Strike Across East County; “Residents from Alpine to Mt. Helix have reported mail theft during the past week. In some cases, even locking mailboxes have been burglarized by determined thieves, neighbors report.”
  • SAN MATEO COUNTY, California: South San Francisco Patch – San Mateo County: Serial Mail Thief Suspect Arrested; “Menlo Park police on Saturday arrested a suspect in the theft of mail, documents and other items from more than 30 people in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.”

March 14:

March 15:

  • CAMPBELL, California: Mercury News Campbell Blotter; “Possession of stolen property–March 2, 10:50 a.m. E. Hamilton Avenue. Campbell police officers retrieved stolen mail located at an empty homeless encampment.” 
  • SAN ANTONIO, Texas: String of mail thefts on North Side; “Bexar County Constable is investigating a series of mail thefts in precinct three. The crimes span from NW Military to east of Wetmore Road.”
  • KENT, Washington: KOMO Kent police searching for serial mail thief; “Kent Police are searching for a serial mail thief after they say he was caught on surveillance camera Saturday afternoon plucking mail from several boxes along a quiet road.”
  • SNOWFLAKE, Arizona: White Mountain Independent  Authorities make another arrest for mail thefts; “The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Postal Inspection Service have been investigating a large amount of thefts from mailboxes in rural areas of Snowflake and Concho that began in December.”

Authorities arrest second woman for mail thefts

Cesar Ortiz mug shot (Courtesy: DPS)

March 16:

  • BANDERA, Texas: Bandera Bulletin Fifth mail theft suspect arrested; “A fifth person has been arrested with allegedly stolen mail from the area in his possession, Bandera County Chief Deputy Matt King said this week.”
  • SANTA CRUZ, California: KSBW Santa Cruz mail thief pretends she thought house was Airbnb; “The thief had walked up to the house and rang the doorbell at 6 p.m. Tuesday, police said. When no one answered the door, she began snatching mail from a mailbox.”

Santa Cruz

March 17: 

March 18: 

March 19:


March 20:

March 21:

Nicole Sherie Rodriguez

March 22: 

March 23:

  • LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas: Mail thieves target Little Rock neighborhood; “The uptick in thefts has been enough to catch the attention of police, and now they’re issuing a public warning to make sure you’re not the next victim.”
  • SNOWFLAKE, Arizona: Arizona Journal More Arrests Made in Mail Theft Case; “In an ongoing investigation into mail thefts that occurred in the rural areas of Snowflake and Concho, detectives with the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at 4320 Appaloosa Road in Snowflake and made arrests after discovering three children and a dog living in deplorable conditions.”
  • TOPEKA, Kansas: WIBW 13 – Shawnee County Sheriff issued Code Red alert for mail thefts, vehicle burglaries; “Jones say criminals will follow mail carriers and remove mail from mailboxes in an attempt to gather personal or financial information that can be used to steal your identity. Jones asks that residents collect your mail or packages as soon as they are delivered.”
  • SACRAMENTO, California: The Sacramento Bee – Sacramento police ask help identifying suspected mail thief; “The theft occurred about 1:52 p.m. March 8 in the 4000 block of 69th Street.”

March 24:

March 25:

March 26:

  • COVINGTON COUNTY, Mississippi: WDAM 7 – Suspects arrested in Alabama for cashing counterfeit check; “Authorities said they’ve received several calls about the suspects possibly being connected to mailbox thefts in Mississippi, but they cannot confirm it they are the suspects in those cases.”

March 28:

  • SOUTH PASADENA, California: Pasadena Star-News Suspected mail thieves caught in South Pasadena; “South Pasadena Police Cpl. Bill Early said officers recovered a small amount of methamphetamines, 10 checks and stolen mail with addresses in South Pasadena, Los Angeles and Pasadena.”

March 29:

  • MORGAN HILL, California: KRON 4 Two women arrested for stealing mail in Morgan Hill apartments; “The manager told the Morgan Hill Dispatch she could see two females prying the mailboxes open next to the office and the females were stealing mail, according to police officials.”
  • HENDERSON COUNTY, North Carolina: Identity theft from mailboxes on the rise in mountain counties; “The sheriff’s office is sure many more people are victims but don’t realize it yet. “Criminals are going through and taking personal and financial information from people’s at-home mailboxes. When people leave a red flag up on their mailboxes, thieves are viewing that as a green light opportunity to steal information from them,” Nock said.”
  • PASADENA, California: Pasadena News Now Five Arrested for Allegedly Stealing from U.S. Postal Service Mailbox in South Pasadena; “Officers recovered from the suspects a small amount of methamphetamine, 10 checks and stolen mail with addresses in South Pasadena, Los Angeles and Pasadena.”
  • ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico: Albuquerque Journal Albuquerque man pleads guilty to mail theft; Facing prison; “A search of the truck revealed hundreds of pieces of mail and their contents, which were credit cards and ID cards.”
  • HENDERSON COUNTY, North Carolina: Hendersonville Lightning – Criminals reverting to snail theft, sheriff says; “As a result of increased attention paid to online and internet based frauds, some criminals are reverting to older methods of crime, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has seen a rise in thefts from mailboxes, Sheriff Charlie McDonald said in a news release.”
  • COVINGTON COUNTY, Mississippi: WDAM 7 Suspects arrested in Alabama connected to local mailbox thefts; “Authorities said they are also suspects in a number of mailbox thefts in the Covington County area where more than 20 mailboxes were robbed.”

Melvin Hathorn, 51 of Bassfield, and Brandi Hawthorne, 36 of Buckataunna/ Photo Credit: Demopolis Police Department

March 30:

  • ST. LOUIS, Missouri: – Mail theft ringleader caught in Creve Coeur gets 5+ years in prison; “A North Carolina man who was arrested in Creve Coeur in the midst of a multi-state mail theft and check fraud spree was sentenced Wednesday to 70 months in federal prison, the U.S. attorney’s office said.”
  • HERCULES, California: Pinole-Hercules Patch  Suspected Mail Thieves Arrested, More Details Released: Nicholas Vargas, 19, of Bay Point, and Christine Racine, 25, of Martinez were arrested; “Officers nabbed a pair of suspected mail thieves on Monday morning in Hercules, according to police. Officers were initially dispatched to the 1200 block of Promenade Street at 9:22 a.m. Monday based on a report that a woman was trying to break into mailboxes.”
  • CHICO, California: OrovilleMR Mail theft suspects arrested in Chico; “Marilyn Cable, 39, of Paradise and James Higgins, 43, of Palermo were arrested on mail theft charges after deputies found stolen mail from 18 residents of Entler Avenue in the truck. The truck and Higgins were identified in the video surveillance, and Higgins was seen stealing mail.”
  • HERCULES, California: Contra Costa Times Hercules police arrest two East Bay residents for mail theft; “At 9:22 a.m. Monday, officers responded to a report on the 1200 block of Promenade Street of a woman in her 30s or 40s trying to break into mailboxes and driving away in an older-model gold Volvo station wagon. Officers searched the area, but did not find the suspect or vehicle, police said.”
  • LIVERMORE, California: East Bay Times Livermore police issue mail theft alert; “It’s not an epidemic, but Livermore police have issued a warning about mail theft and are asking for the public’s help to nab suspects.”
  • COLUMBUS, Ohio: The Columbus Dispatch – Suspect in check thefts from mailboxes turns himself in; “According to police, the suspects are raiding mailboxes once residents put out their mail for the postal service. The thieves go through the mail and steal any checks they find that are enclosed as bill payments.”
  • MORGAN HILL, California: CBS San Francisco – Duo Accused Of Stealing Mail At Morgan Hill Apartment Complex; “Police learned the true name of one of two San Jose women arrested early Tuesday morning in Morgan Hill for allegedly stealing mail at an apartment complex.”

Fleitcha Johnson (left) and Myisha Johnson are accused of stealing mail at the Murphy Ranch apartments in Morgan Hill on March 29, 2016. (Morgan Hill Police)

March. 31:

Kiera Shed

Santa Cruz Woman Arrested For Mailbox Thefts


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