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Mail-Identity Theft: September 2015

Stolen mail is a leading cause of identity theft across the nation. Prevention is key to identity theft protection, and the first defense is a secure locking mailbox. Here is a round-up of the mail-identity theft news stories from across the nation in September 2015.

Sept. 1:

  • ELK GROVE, California: Central Valley Business Times Elk Grove woman admits to bank fraud and identity theft; “Between October 2014, and February of this year, Ms. Southwood and co-defendants Leonard Velasco, 23, and Joseph Ryan, 20, both of Elk Grove, damaged or destroyed U.S. Postal letter boxes and stole U.S. Mail, according to court documents.”
  • GRASS VALLEY, California: The Union Police blotter; “8:30 a.m. — A caller from Wallis Drive reported the theft of checks from a mailbox. 8:55 a.m. — A caller from the 10000 block of Cedar Avenue reported mail theft. 10:11 a.m. — A caller from the 14000 block of Banner Lava Cap Road reported mail theft.”
  • ELK GROVE, California: The Sacramento Bee Elk Grove woman pleads guilty to charges related to mail thefts: Keri S. Southwood is one of three people arrested in February; “After cataloging the stolen mail, the defendants returned to certain postal customer’s mail boxes to steal replacement credit or debit cards sent to those customers. authorities said.”
  • GLENDORA, California: San Gabriel Valley Tribune 2 accused of stealing mail, identities in Glendora; “Glendora police and investigators from U.S. Postal Service were conducting an investigation on a recent rash of mail thefts from mailboxes in the city and surrounding areas, Lamborghini said.”
  • FRIENDSWOOD, Texas: YourHoustonNews.com Friendswood police crack major drug ring; “A Friendswood resident who led police to catch an alleged mail thief ultimately triggered a narcotics investigation that led to five additional arrests after Friendswood Police discovered a major drug ring operating from a Pearland apartment.”

Friendswood police crack major drug ring

Sept. 3:

  • NEWBURY PARK, California: Thousand Oaks Acorn – Sheriff’s Blotter; “Aug. 24: Mail theft was reported in the 1800 block of Tipperary Lane.”
  • SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah: Salt Lake Tribune Utah thieves steal mail from boxes and Postal Service Trucks; “Three mail trucks have been burglarized in Salt Lake County since July by thieves who also are suspected of stealing out of mailboxes and from businesses, West Valley City police say. An informant told police that the three suspected burglars commit property crimes on a daily basis to support their drug habits, according to an Aug. 12 search warrant affidavit that was recently unsealed in 3rd District Court.”
  • HIGHLAND, California: Highland News Mailbox thefts surge in EHR; “The Highland Police Department is currently investigating a recent surge in mailbox break-ins throughout East Highlands Ranch (EHR) and advises residents to pick up their mail daily and not leave in-coming or out-going mail in boxes over night.”

Mailbox that was broken in

Sept. 4:

  • WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah: Washington Times – Thieves break into mail trucks while workers make deliveries; “Police say a group of burglars has been breaking into U.S. Postal Service trucks and stealing mail while the postal workers are making deliveries.”
  • SANTA BARBARA, California: EdHat Santa Barbara LA Gang Members Arrested for Mail Theft; “Regino Omar Estrada Ramirez, age 25, Ramon Julian Gomez, age 19, and Saulo Solares, age 20, all of Los Angeles, were arrested for multiple offenses stemming from the theft of checks from U.S. Postal Service mail boxes. All three men are members of a Los Angeles area criminal street gang.”

LAGang

Sept. 7:

  • HOMEDALE, Idaho: Idaho Press-Tribune Man charged with breaking into mail boxes in Homedale; “The Homedale postmaster reported that several boxes were broken into in June and mail removed. An investigation found that the boxes were manually manipulated from the front.”

Sept. 8:

  • BIG BEAR LAKE, California: Big Bear News Post Office Break-In, Thieves Caught; “On Sunday, 09/06/15, at 6:10 a.m., a citizen called the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station to report that multiple mailboxes were open at the Big Bear City Post Office and mail was scattered on the ground. Deputies responded and found 21 post office boxes, along with four package lockers, that had been forced open.”

Six Suspects Arrested in Mail Theft Case in Big Bear

Sept. 9:

  • AMERICAN CANYON, California: Napa Valley Register Police: American Canyon mail thefts suspects arrested; “American Canyon police have arrested a couple whom they say is responsible for a string of mail thefts over the past few months, police Chief Tracey Stuart said in a media release Wednesday afternoon.”
  • MODESTO, California: The Ceres Courier Three Arrested in Mail Theft; “Three Modesto residents were arrested in the 1600 block of Nadine Avenue on Tuesday, Sept. 1 for allegedly stealing mail from mailboxes.”
  • BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Washington: Kitsap Sun Mail theft caught in the act; “Bainbridge Island Police saw and arrested two people they believe stole more than 130 pieces of mail from more than 50 island residents Aug. 22.”
  • SAN MARINO, California: Pasadena Star-News San Marino traffic stop yields stolen mail, two suspects; “Tebbetts said the driver and passenger were in possession of several pieces of stolen mail which included checks.”
  • GRASS VALLEY, California: The Union Suspect in check forgery takes plea; “Taylor Anthony Muendel, 30, was arrested on Dec. 19, 2014, after allegedly stealing checks that had been sent out in the mail; the checks were later manipulated to reflect a different pay in cash, in the amount of approximately $1,000.”
  • WALLINGFORD, Connecticut: My Record Journal Wallingford man who stole mail from dozens of homes arrested again on check forging charge; “A Wallingford man who previously pleaded guilty to cashing stolen checks was charged Tuesday with attempting to cash a forged check at a local bank.”

  • GREGG COUNTY, Texas: CBS 19 Gregg County officials searching for mailbox bandit; “A mailbox bandit is on the loose in Gregg County and tonight authorities are asking for the public’s help. Investigators say they’ve received several complaints of forgery and credit card abuse stemming from those mailbox thefts.”

Sept. 10:

  • SAN MARINO, California: San Marino Tribune San Marino Mail Theft Suspects in Police Custody; “Upon further investigation it was determined that the driver, later identified as Rosendo Navarro, 33, and passenger Jennifer Aguilera, 29, were in possession of several pieces of stolen mail, some of those included stolen checks.”
  • AUSTIN, Texas: KVUE Group mailbox disappears from South Austin neighborhood; “Homeowners in a South Austin neighborhood as well as employees at the United States Postal Service are left scratching their heads after a group mailbox disappeared entirely overnight.”
  • OAHU, Hawaii: KHON 2 – Postal service investigates rise in Windward Oahu mail thefts; “Inspectors tell KHON2 that it’s happening all across the island, but more so in two areas in Windward Oahu. “Although we cannot go into detail about specific methods thieves are using to steal mail, reported incidents of mail theft on Oahu has risen sharply in recent months,” said U.S. Postal Service Inspector Brian Shaughnessy.”
  • SPRINGFIELD, Missouri: OzarksFirst.com Columbia Man Sentenced for Bank Fraud Scheme; “A Columbia, Mo. man has been sentenced in federal court for his role in a bank fraud conspiracy that used stolen mail and fake identifications to cash nearly $160,000 in fraudulent checks in Webster County and elsewhere.”
  • SAN MARINO, California: San Marino Tribune San Marino Mail Theft Suspects in Police Custody; “Upon further investigation it was determined that the driver, later identified as Rosendo Navarro, 33, and passenger Jennifer Aguilera, 29, were in possession of several pieces of stolen mail, some of those included stolen checks.”
  • SPRINGFIELD, Missouri: KOMU 8 – Man sentenced for using stolen mail, fake IDs to get $160,000; “Prosecutors said Thursday a judge sentenced a Columbia man in federal court for using stolen mail and fake IDs to get almost $160,000 from 14 different banks.”
  • LA CANADA, California: LaCanadaOnline.com Crime Report: Residents report mail theft; A resident in the 5200 block of La Cañada Boulevard reported that someone had pried open his locked mailbox and stolen his mail on Sept. 5; “5200 block of La Cañada Boulevard. A man reported that sometime between 11 p.m. Thursday and noon Friday, someone pried open his locked mailbox and stole his mail from inside. During the call, deputies observed another nearby mailbox also appeared to have been pried open, so they left a note on the front door of the residence advising them of the receptacle’s condition.”

Resident's mail box pried open

Sept. 11:

  • FOUNTAIN VALLEY, California: Huntington Beach Independent Man held in theft of mail from mailbox; “A Los Angeles man was arrested this week after Fountain Valley police found him with mail they said was stolen from a mailbox.”
  • BECKER, Minnesota: Sherburne County Citizen Police Arrest Two, but Mailbox Thefts Still On the Rise; “The Becker Police and Sherburne County Drug Task Force have arrested two people in the area of Jenkins and Monroe Streets involving theft of mail Tuesday. Mail thefts have also been reported in Stearns County.”

Sept. 12:

Sept. 14:

  • BRENTWOOD, California: WestsideToday.com Rash of Mailbox Thefts Hit Multi-Family Homes; “Residents in multi-family homes have fallen victim to mail theft this month. Three individuals carrying boxes and luggage filled with mail were caught on camera in the lobby of an apartment in the 500 block of S. Barrington Ave.”

Aug 2015 Brentwood Mail Theft Pics-2

Sept. 15:

Source: Brandy Thompson

Sept. 16:

  • DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio: Olentangy Valley News Powell: Postal Service investigating report of stolen mail; “The employee told deputies it appeared someone “had taken the mail from from numerous mailboxes an then tossed it in (the) dumpster,” according to sheriff’s reports.”
  • GREEN VALLEY, Arizona: GVNews.com – Updated: Suspect facing charges connected to mail theft, check washing; “One of two men arrested last month on suspicion of stealing mail from U.S. Postal Service collection boxes and altering checks has been indicted on charges stemming from that arrest, while the investigation into the other is ongoing.”

Sept. 17:

Sept. 18:

Sept. 20:

  • HOPKINSVILLE, Kentucky: Kentucky New Era – HPD: Mail stolen from G & S Embroidery; “Mail was removed from a mailbox for G&S Embroidery between Tuesday and Wednesday, according to a Hopkinsville police report.”

Sept. 21:

Abra Nicol (Source: Angelina County Jail)

Sept. 22: 

Chatham County residents have reported thefts from mailboxes throughout the area.

Sept. 23:

A Bloomfield resident says she watched in horror

Sept. 24:

Sept. 25: 

  • GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan: WZZM 13 Stolen mail linked to identity theft brings charges; “A Colorado man jailed in Ottawa County last year for property offenses has been charged with identify theft involving mail stolen from boxes in the Holland area.”

635787846775864208-rudisel

Sept. 26:

  • NEW BRIGHTON, Minnesota: Sun Focus – New Brighton woman charged with multiple counts of mail theft; “The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office has charged a New Brighton resident with 16 counts related to mail theft.”
  • HINSDALE, Illinois: Chicago Tribune Hinsdale police warn missing mail could signal identity theft; “Several residents’ mail was taken out of their mailboxes and scattered on the street during the overnight hours between Thursday and Friday. The mail carrier had delivered the mail, but the residents had not yet taken it out of the mailbox and brought it in their home, police officials said.”
  • MAPLE LEAF SEATTLE, Washington: Maple Leaf Life More reports of mail, package theft; “I thought I would share a tip about mail theft from tonight (9/25/2015). We installed a mailbox alarm on our mailbox that triggers inside the house whenever the mailbox is opened, in part to notify us when our mail comes and in part to notify us if someone opens our mailbox at odd hours, since we’ve had sporadic mail theft for the past few years.”

Sept. 27:

  • SANTA CLARITA VALLEY, California: The Santa Clarita Valley Signal Despite arrest, mail theft continue on SCV West Side; “As one of Santa Clarita Valley’s most prolific mail thieves heads off to prison, residents in Stevenson Ranch still report seeing their mailboxes ransacked regularly.”
  • BONNEY LAKE, Washington: Bonney Lake Courier-Herald – Stolen mail | Bonney Lake Police Blotter; “Officers were dispatched on Sept. 15 to the report of stolen mail. The reporting party said they put a check to pay a bill into their mailbox, and was later called by a neighbor who told them all the mailboxes on the street were opened. The reporting party contacted their bank and closed their account.”

Sept. 28:

Sept. 29:

Sept. 30:

  • FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas: Arkansas Online – Police investigate mail theft, forgery; “Multiple residents reported mail missing from mailboxes and porches during the past few weeks, according to police dispatch records. Police said in a Tuesday news release that mail theft is a common way to commit financial identity theft.”
  • HALF MOON BAY, California: Half Moon Bay Review Coastside residents report increased mail theft: Postal inspector sees no great spike; “In the last few months, residents in Miramar and Sea Haven have reported numerous cases of mail theft, including packages snatched off front porches, stolen bank statements and cash swiped from birthday cards.”
  • HAVELOCK, North Carolina: Sun Journal Havelock police investigate thefts of mail: Police and the U.S. Postal Service are investigating reports of thefts from mail boxes across the city; “The thefts happened on South Forest Drive, Evelyn Circle, Devonshire Drive and a variety of neighborhoods in between, Magnusson said. Magnusson believes that new and unused credit cards or mail-order prescriptions may have been the targets of the thief.”
  • CRAVEN COUNTY, North Carolina: WCTI 12 Dozens of mailboxes broken into across two counties; “Police are investigating dozens of mailbox break-ins across at least two counties. Police now believe at least two people were involved in the thefts of late Monday night and early Tuesday morning. When Christan Geib went to her mailbox Tuesday morning, she found her bank statement opened and crumpled, leaving her concerned the thief could now have her account number.”

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