Decatur PD warn mail thieves on the prowl in Oakhurst suburb
Decatur Police Department recently sent a note to Oakhurst residents regarding ongoing mail theft. The letter is reprinted below:
Please be advised we are currently experiencing mail thefts in the Oakhurst area. Suspects are taking outgoing mail from mailboxes prior to the mail carrier picking it up. They are also taking mail that has been delivered and not yet picked up by residents. Please DO NOT place outgoing mail, especially that contain checks and bill payment slips with account numbers, in your mailboxes. Take it to the post office or give it directly to the mail carrier if possible.
Also, call 911 IMMEDIATELY if you see anyone hovering/loitering/tampering in or around your or your neighbors’ mailboxes if you do not recognize them. Please get a physical description of the suspect, a description of what they are wearing and description of a vehicle, if they are using one, and which direction they are walking or driving.
Officers are patrolling the neighborhoods but the suspects will pretend to be walking along when they see the police.
This is an ongoing problem around the Metro-Atlanta area because the information obtained from mail theft victim’s checks and payment slips can be sold to others for use in identity fraud. Decatur had problems along East Lake Drive at the end of 2007 and now in 2008 along East Lake Drive, as well as Adams Street and Kings Hwy.
If you locate any mail belonging to you or a neighbor that has been torn open or strewn out on the ground, please do not touch it with your bare hands. Call for an officer to collect it. If you need to collect it yourself due to traffic running over it, use a paper towel or tongs and place the items in a paper bag, NEVER A PLASTIC BAG, so that it can be processed. The suspects are ripping open envelopes and that can yield good fingerprints.
If we can catch whoever is doing this locally, I will request that the U. S. Postal Inspector’s Office get involved. On the surface, mail theft may seem like a low priority issue but it leads to bigger problems, such as identity fraud, which causes a terrible amount of inconvenience to those having to close all of their accounts and start over. Awareness and diligence on behalf of our residents is key to stopping this problem.
Thank you for your help,
Inv. Jennifer S. Ross #141
For residents in the Atlanta area aiming to protect themselves against the epidemic of mail and identity theft, the first defense is a secure (not just locking) mailbox such as the Mail Boss locking security mailbox. The Mail Boss is available for purchase online, and for Atlanta area residents at Addresses of Distinction in Marietta, Georgia.
For a Mail Boss dealer near you, click here.