Mail Theft Monday – 1/25/10
Mail stolen from 9 mailboxes in Mooresville
WCNC – 1/21/10
(MOORESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA) “Police say someone stole outgoing mail from nine mailboxes in Mooresville. The victims are concerned about identity theft because some of the stolen mail included bank statements and checks.
Police do not have a suspect, but officers say a suspicious pickup truck was seen driving through neighborhoods. Police say residents should take outgoing mail to a post office instead of leaving items in a mailbox. Investigators say there could be more victims. Mooresville residents who have concerns about stolen mail should call police at 704-664-3311.”
COMMENTS: Remember that it’s just as, if not more, important to secure your incoming mail than your outgoing mail. Thieves may get a check from the outgoing mail, but they can steal account numbers, credit card numbers, bank statements, bills and more from your incoming mail – and you would likely never know it was missing!! That’s why it’s super important to use a high security locking mailbox that can’t be fished or pried open to secure your mail and protect your identity. The Mail Boss is a good option.
Mail thefts up in area
La Cañada Valley Sun – 1/21/10
(LA CRESCENTA, CALIFORNIA) “Mail theft crimes have spiked in the La Cañada and La Crescenta area in the last three months, according to a Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station spokesman. Sgt. Ray Harley said mail fraud has affected 25 victims in La Cañada and La Crescenta since Oct. 1. Harley said there were fewer than 10 mail thefts reported between January and September 2009.
“Part of this boils down to crimes like this, the [perpetrators] tend to go into wealthier communities or communities with curb-side mailboxes,” Harley said. “There’s been a rise.” Though they peaked during the Christmas season, several crimes occurred so far this month, according to reports on file at the CV station.
On Jan. 7, a victim of mail theft in La Cañada received notice that a check to an insurance company he mailed out in December had been cashed by an unknown party. The victim also reported his mail and security camera were stolen from his home in mid-December. On Jan. 8, four victims of mail theft were reported in La Crescenta.
“Some people have been reporting their mail missing or finding their mail and mailbox in the street,” said U.S. Post Office 91011 supervisor Thomas Roeder. “There was also a mailbox found [that had been] set on fire.” Roeder added that mail crimes tend to rise over Christmas. Mostly, Harley said, the criminals are looking for checks — blank or signed.
“They’re looking for a variety of things,” Harley said. “Sometimes during Christmas, people send cash, checks or gift cards by mail. Sometimes they’ll receive courtesy checks, which are blank checks a bank sends to a customer to spend on large purchases.” One of the most dangerous things about mail theft, Harley said, is that it’s easy to not notice mail as a stolen item, either as outgoing or receiving mail.
On Dec. 22, German Martinez, 22 of Los Angeles, was found with mail stolen from 16 different victims in La Cañada and La Crescenta. Harley said only “one or two” of the victims reported the crimes. Martinez is currently being held in Twin Towers Correctional Facility on $185,000 bail. He faces fines and possibly more than the one year in jail for one count of receiving stolen property and two counts of forgery, said district attorney’s office representative Jane Robison.
COMMENTS: Mail identity theft continues to increase in La Cañada and La Crescenta, CA. Very few individuals that had their mail stolen actually filed a police report, indicating that they were not aware their mail had been stolen. This is pretty typical, because most people do not know what they are expecting in the mail, therefore they don’t know when something goes missing. Think about all the pre-approved credit card offers, credit card checks, and other mail you receive in addition to the usual: bills, account statements, checks, etc. Ultimately, a high security locking mail box can you protect you from mail identity theft, and while you may not think you are a victim, well.. you never really know! Isn’t it better to have peace of mind?
DUI stop solves burglaries, mail and ID theft cases
Democrat-Herald – 1/19/10
(BROOKINGS, OREGON) “Numerous residential burglaries, mail thefts and ID theft cases have been solved following a traffic stop by the Oregon State Police near Brookings over the New Year’s holiday weekend. […] OSP Trooper Byron Spini stopped a possible intoxicated driver […].The car had two occupants […] both of Brookings.
Nearly two ounces of methamphetamine, evidence associated with illegal drug distribution and a concealed loaded firearm were found in the car. Schmacher was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Prior to the traffic stop, Specht, who is a convicted felon, was seen driving the car. He was arrested for felon in possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession, distribution and manufacture of a controlled substance. He was also found to be in possession of stolen credit cards.
Trooper Spini’s ongoing investigation led to a search warrant being issued for a vehicle search. While executing that on Jan. 5, Spini found a woman’s purse, stolen jewelry, stolen antique coins and credit cards, and numerous pieces of mail belonging to other people. Evidence obtained since the original traffic stop has helped solve four residential burglaries and 36 cases of mail theft. Most of the crimes were previously reported to area law enforcement agencies. Additional charges against Schmacher and Specht are pending.”
COMMENTS: Oregon state police arrested two repeat criminals after a routine traffic stop. A vehicle search warrant turned up stolen mail related to 36 pending cases of mail-theft, as well as large amounts of methamphetamine. Methamphetamine drug use and mail theft seem to go hand in hand. Additionally, most mail thieves are repeat criminals working “hand to mouth” (or mailbox to meth, so to speak) to feed their drug habit. A high-security locking mailbox can help prevent mail theft and secure your identity.
Thieves filch mail in Warwick
phillyBurbs.com – 1/19/10
(WARWICK, PENNSYLVANIA) “They were after more than mail, said police. They were after identities. Outgoing mail was reported stolen from the mailboxes of four Warwick residents Tuesday. Police suspect the thieves swiped the envelopes, which primarily contained bills, to obtain information that could be used to steal a person’s identity.
“The problem here is identity theft,” said Warwick Police Chief Joseph C. Costello. “There could be bank information in there. Account information. Credit card information. Your name and address. Things of that nature that a criminal could use.”
Residents had placed the bills in their mailboxes and put the boxes’ flags up to signal they had outgoing mail to be taken. But what was supposed to be an indication to the mail carrier, ended up being a beacon for thieves. “It’s easy to become a victim when you have the flag up like that,” said Costello. […]
Costello said it was fortunate a resident spotted the prowler and the vehicle. Had the person not done so, it is possible residents would have assumed their bills had been mailed as planned. They might not have discovered something was amiss until receiving a non-payment notification or until their personal information was used to defraud them. […]”
COMMENTS: More mail theft going on in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Thieves are prowling outgoing mail not only looking for checks, but more importantly looking for sensitive account information to use for identity theft. Police Chief Costello warns residents not to use their residential mailboxes to send secure mail. Police Chief Costello has half of the equation. He also should warn residents to secure their incoming mail with a secure locking mailbox, as almost everything related to bank accounts, social security, bills, etc. comes in the mailbox. Incoming mail tends to have MORE personal information than outgoing mail. And as for the venerable paper shredder, it is just as – if not more – important to protect your mail at its source: the mailbox, than it is to shred it before discarding it. It’s much easier (and less messy) for criminals to steal from a mailbox than a dump.
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