More Mail Theft in the News

Here are a few more reasons to get a security locking mailbox

Sorry folks. It’s not going away any time soon. Here’s a roundup of mail theft stories in the past few weeks.

Mail Theft Increases KXNT Radio – 11/3/09
Las Vegas, Nevada – Officials say more mail theft is being reported in the area. Reports show residents have been notifying the Postal Service and law enforcement over the increase of mail theft. Officials with the Postal Service say the rise in thefts is most likely due to the economy. Residents are warned to be careful about what packages they leave outside their homes for pickup.

Man arrested in La Cañada check thefts, forgeries La Cañada Valley Sun – 11/2/09
La Cañada, California -A Pacoima man was arraigned last week on charges of mail theft and bank fraud for having cashed stolen checks belonging to two La Cañada Flintridge residents […]. […] Thurn, who is charged with four counts of bank fraud and two counts of possession of stolen mail, remains in custody without bail. He is a parolee with four felony convictions […]. […] On Aug. 3, [sheriffs] followed up on a claim alleging the cashing of a forged check. […] Thurn’s two listed residences in Pacoima were searched […]. In his home the detectives found stolen mail, altered checks, a firearm, suspected narcotics and other identity theft paraphernalia.

2 more BHC mail theft suspects plead guilty Mohave Daily News – 10/27/09
Kingman, Arizona – Two of eight suspects allegedly involved in stealing mail from Bullhead City mail boxes pleaded guilty Monday in Superior Court. […] Four other suspects still face charges of mail theft and fraud […]. […] Bullhead City police officers arrested Welch, Bowersox and Marcum June 11 at a Krueger Lane home. Police searched the home and allegedly found stolen mail, drug paraphernalia and homemade counterfeit keys used to break into cluster mailboxes in 10 neighborhoods throughout the Bullhead City area, according to the Bullhead City Police Department. […]

Norman man, 77, sentenced to 24 months for mail theft The Norman Transcript – 10/23/09
Norman, Oklahoma – Maurice Hildebrand, 77, of Norman, was sentenced Thursday […] to serve 24 months in federal prison for theft of U.S. mail, announced […] Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. […] From May of 2004 through August of 2008, Hildebrand stole mail containing checks […] sent by various businesses and individuals that were being placed in the mail to pay bills, make investments, or make charitable contributions. [He] said that he would see the envelopes protruding from mail boxes and would pull the mail out to see if it contained a check. […] He obtained $34,012 using this scheme. [He] was indicted in May of 2009 and pleaded guilty to 42 counts of mail theft in July of 2009. […] The case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Oklahoma City Economic and Identity Crime Task Force, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. […]

Fifth person sentenced in Fairbanks mail theft ring Daily News-Miner – 10/22/09
Fairbanks, Alaska – A fifth person was sentenced Wednesday for his role in a mail theft ring that targeted the outlying areas of Fairbanks. […]. He received a sentence Wednesday of five years in jail with 18 months suspended. Superior Court Judge […] also revoked 10 months of suspended time for a 2006 case, which involved mail theft motivated by drugs. “As long as Mr. Freriks has a drug problem, no amount of time will deter him,” MacDonald said. […] Local law enforcement agencies received more than 700 reports of mail theft or tampering between September and December of 2008. Cases ranged in severity from displaced mail being found at the side of the road to stolen checks and credit cards being used to purchase thousands of dollars worth of items from local businesses. Authorities estimated losses in the range of tens of thousands of dollars. Drugs, specifically methamphetamine, were the main motive for the thefts, they said. Freriks was convicted in 2006 of being a part of a group of 10 loosely organized mail thieves who traded tips about how to steal mail and pass checks. That group, which targeted the Goldstream Valley, North Pole and Chena Hot Springs Road areas beginning the summer of 2005, went on shopping sprees throughout the state, racking up as much as half a million dollars in purchases using stolen cash and forged checks.

Financial crimes against seniors on the rise in Amador Ledger-Dispatch – 10/22/09
Amador, California – Amador County Sheriff Martin Ryan is making crimes against seniors a high priority as rising unemployment and a crippled financial system push desperate individuals to target the elderly. “There was a period last year of tremendous mail theft,” said [the] sheriff’s investigator […]. “Unlocked mailboxes are a particularly attractive target for criminals. They’re looking for bank and credit card statements, which contain a victim’s account number. They’re also are looking for credit card convenience checks that periodically get sent to cardholders … those also give enterprising criminals the ability to make false identification and counterfeit checks and other official looking documents.” Roberts added that, 10 years ago, check forgery and credit card fraud were the most common financial crimes. He believes law enforcement today are still dealing with those, although they’re also swamped with everything from identity theft to Internet fraud. […] The Federal Trade Commission recently estimated that 65 percent of identity theft victims don’t report the crime against them to law enforcement. […]

Woman sentenced on federal mail theft The Rolla Daily News – 10/16/09
St. Louis, Missouri – Deanna Wisdom was sentenced to five months prison (time served) and five months of home confinement on federal mail theft charges, Acting [US] Attorney Michael W. Reap and Phelps County Sheriff Rick Lisenbe announced today. She was also ordered to pay approximately $4000 restitution. According to court documents, on September 10, 2008, Wisdom possessed items that she stole from a mail route. She used the stolen mail in order to commit bank fraud and credit card fraud. [She] […] plead guilty last August to one count of possession of stolen mail, and appeared today for sentencing before [US] District Judge Rodney W. Sippel, in St. Louis. Reap commended the work on the case by the […]Sheriff’s Department, the Rolla [PD], the [USPIS]; and Assistant [US] Attorney Tracy Berry, who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

REMEMBER: Mail theft is a leading cause of identity theft, and the best way to protect yourself against this growing crime is with a high-quality security locking mailbox like the Mail Boss.

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