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Mail Theft Monday: 10/7/19-10/13/19

Man used fishing device to steal $93,000 worth of checks in Arlington, charges say

Fort Worth Star-Telegram – 10/10/19

(ARLINGTON, TEXAS) An Arlington man used a fishing device to steal $93,000 worth of checks from mailboxes, according to charging documents. Michael Queen was charged with mail theft on Wednesday. He was arrested Sept. 11.

From December to January, the United States Postal Inspection Service received reports of suspected mail theft from collection boxes in Arlington, according to a criminal complaint…

A man inside a Hummer H2 with “Auto Hail Repair Guys” written on the side was seen taking envelopes from blue mail collection boxes with what was described as a fishing device. On Jan. 30, Arlington police stopped the Hummer H2 for a traffic violation and were able to search the car because they could plainly see narcotics inside, according to the criminal complaint. Officers found pieces of mail, rat glue and about 70 checks inside the Hummer. The stolen checks added up to about $93,000. Queen admitted to stealing mail from the boxes at Bardin Road Post Office and Melear Station Post Office, the criminal complaint said.

COMMENTS: Luckily for these identity theft victims, the officers were able to immediately bypass the process of a warrant due to plainly visible narcotics within the vehicle. Cases like these continually prove that P.O. boxes cannot guarantee mail security. Often their locations are open throughout all hours of the night, on weekends, and left unattended, leaving their contents ripe for the taking of any bold-enough thief. The best way to prevent mail theft is to  install a high-security locking mailbox, and then to regularly retrieve your mail. If you are going to be out of town, make sure to place a hold mail through your post office for that period of time. In the long run, a secure locking curbside mailbox is less expensive than a PO box subscription, and allows you the convenience of getting your mail more easily and more regularly. All Mail Boss curbside mailboxes are designed to prevent theft – including prying and fishing.

Two arrested on mail theft, forgery in Red Wing

POST BULLETIN – 10/08/19

(RED WING, MINNESOTA) A man and woman face felony check forgery and mail theft charges stemming from two separate Red Wing incidents connected by the same white car.

According to criminal complaints: A Red Wing police officer was dispatched Sept. 30 to Wild Turkey Lane on a report of a mailbox theft. The officer responded within 10 seconds of the call to the road’s only outlet, where he encountered a white vehicle coming down the hill at a high rate of speed. The officer stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver and registered owner, identified by police as Schwalen.

A short time later the caller who reported the mail theft approached the traffic stop and told police he took pictures of the suspect and suspect vehicle. The officer indicated the photographs matched the stopped vehicle. A search of the vehicle allegedly revealed 13 personal checks, nine business checks, two Minnesota driver’s licenses, one credit card and a variety of other mail items, all sent to different names and addresses. Schwalen was taken into custody.

A couple days later, on Oct. 2, police were called to Merchants Bank in Red Wing for a report of a man attempting to cash a stolen check. The suspect left before police arrived, but a bank employee kept the check and took a copy of the suspect’s photo ID. The man, identified by police as Lundeen, allegedly tried to cash the check using the bank’s drive-through. Bank surveillance footage showed a man fitting Lundeen’s description driving the same white vehicle registered to Schwalen.

COMMENTS: Indeed, another case of drive up mail theft. It seems that thieves are still able to wash and forge even modern bank checks and notes. Thankfully, through impressive detective work and fast police response times, this pair of mail thieves has been caught. The victims of these thefts may never be reimbursed. Even if they are, actions like these will undoubtedly continue to cost taxpayers and governments alike. In our local area, some city governments have deployed programs where Mail Boss mailboxes have been partially subsidized to citizens. This program has been enacted to reduce wasted time by the local police force trying to track down mail theft crime (which is, unsurprisingly, very time consuming, frustrating and difficult). We believe our products would serve the people of Red Wing well, and help to protect them from any future rashes of mail theft. I encourage anybody who is in need of high security locking mailbox to reach out to us at info@mailboss.com and check out our variety of models here.

No federal charges against 2 people accused of mail theft in Yorktown

FOX59 Indianapolis – 10/11/19

(YORKTOWN, INDIANAPOLIS) — “A couple arrested last month for stealing mail from over 30 people will not face federal charges, according to Yorktown Police and the United States Postal Inspector Service. Tracey Hill and Eric Myers were accused of going through Yorktown, stealing mail, and then using that information to steal identities…

…Police in Yorktown say they later found her mail, along with mail for over 30 others in the hands of Hill and Myers. They were arrested in September as they were driving around the Woodland Hills neighborhood late at night. In their car, police say they found stolen mail and meth.

‘It’s a terrible feeling to know that someone is stealing your identity, or attempting to,’ Rosenthall said…

…’It’s scary to think it was that easy for them to do it,’ Rosenthall said. She now checks her mailbox three times a day and checks her credit score daily. ‘I mean, it is kind of scary to think that they have this information and they’re out their still.”

COMMENTS: Here is yet another case where mail theft and meth abuse shows it’s undeniable relation. Meth users are obsessed in finding their next high, and property crimes such as mail theft are one of easiest and most efficient ways for them to do so. They make quick work by driving through neighborhoods, grabbing whatever they can from the curbside mailboxes, and then selling this information to local or online criminals that specialize in identity and information theft. This pair may have been caught by local authorities, but there is always another thief out willing to make quick work of your non-secure mailbox. Consumers simply have to be proactive in protecting their identity – the best way to do so is to purchase a proven, high-security, locking mailbox like the curbside models made by Mail B oss.

Police investigate mail thefts from at least 16 Taylorsville homes

KSL TV – 10/07/19

(TAYLORSVILLE, UTAH) Police are searching for whoever is responsible for a rash of mail thefts late Saturday night in Taylorsville. Residents woke up Sunday morning to find ads and envelopes scattered all over the neighborhood. ‘We walked outside and saw mail all over the ground,’ said Misty Sandoval. ‘It was like a paper party, with mail everywhere.’… Unified Police said 16 people have filed police reports so far, but dozens, or even hundreds of homes could be affected.

McPherson said her surveillance cameras show the suspected thieves in action. She believes it’s a man and woman working together. ‘They walked very casually like they do this for a living,’ said McPherson. ‘They weren’t scared. Didn’t hesitate to open the box and take mail.’ Neighbors are worried what the pair might do with all that mail and they’re hoping police can track them down before they strike again. ‘We have personal stuff that comes into the mail and we don’t want people getting our information,’ said Sandoval.

Police were going door to door in the neighborhood Sunday to find out how many people were affected and who else has surveillance video. If you have any information about this rash of mail theft, please call the Unified Police Department at 801-743-7000.

COMMENTS: Indeed, another case of mail theft which is yet to be solved. This particular rash of thefts already has over a dozen documented victims! Mail theft is crime with a serious potential impact on it’s victims, and yet it can also be extraordinarily hard to track down the perpetrators. Especially since it sounds like these particular thieves were walking around in the surveillance videos, and not driving, they might just prove to be exceedingly difficult to catch. Like a lot of other mail theft cases, the police might just have to wait until these thieves make a brazen mistake, with the stolen mail showing up weeks or months later. We hope that the thieves are caught quickly, however we must suggest the use of a secure, locking mailbox to prevent future thefts. We encourage any Taylorsville residents whom were impacted to reach out to us to discuss our options for secure, long-lasting, and affordable locking mailboxes that will protect them from would-be mail thieves for years to come.

Burglary suspect linked to multiple mail thefts in Nevada County

The Union – 10/11/19

(NEVADA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA) A man suspected of stealing an employee’s purse from a business now has been linked to other instances of mail theft and burglary… During a Thursday probation search of Anthony William Brock’s residence in the 12000 block of Greenhorn Road, deputies found evidence linking him to a Sept. 19 purse theft, Lt. Rob Bringolf said. In that incident, the victim reported her purse, which was filled with personal items, had been stolen from her place of business in the 13000 block of Grass Valley Avenue, near the airport. The victim told deputies she reviewed surveillance footage and saw a man enter the business, look around for a few seconds and then steal the purse. The man then ran from the business toward a white four-door Chevrolet Lumina sedan, which he drove away. “It was a crime of opportunity,” Bringolf said. Sheriff’s Office staff viewed the video surveillance and recognized the male subject as Brock, 37, and recognized the vehicle as one Brock had been associated with numerous times in the past, Bringolf said.

Sheriff’s deputies and detectives from the Special Investigations Unit conducting the probation search located the Chevy Lumina and the clothing worn by Brock during the purse theft, as well as several items of stolen property that had been inside the purse, suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, Bringolf said. Brock was booked into the Nevada County Jail on charges of second-degree burglary; possession of drugs; possession of drug paraphernalia; and a violation of his probation terms. He was being held Friday without bail, reports state. During the search, detectives also found numerous pieces of suspected stolen mail from addresses off Greenhorn Road, Bringolf said.

COMMENTS: Here we find another example of mail theft, only caught because of other more bold and brazen crimes. This mail thief was only realized because he boldly took a woman’s purse right out of her place of business! Figures that he must have had quite the reputation with local authorities, because he was easily identified by the police staff. Again, because mail theft is so hard to catch, the only way to truly prevent it is by installing a secure, proven, locking mailbox like the one’s made by Mail Boss.

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