“Stolen Mail” Google News Alert

Have you ever wondered how I find all of the news articles we feature in the “Mail Identity Theft” category? Well, I set up a Google News Alert for the term “mail theft” so Google sends me news stories of mail theft from across the country on a pretty much daily basis. This nifty little tool provides me with oodles of mail theft stories, and of course, we hear about mail theft from other sources as well: home and business owners victimized by mail identity theft, employees of the postal service USPS, etc.

Well that was going fine and dandy, until yesterday, when I decided to set up a new Google News Alert for the term “stolen mail”. I couldn’t believe how many stories were in my inbox this morning!

This made me think. It’s as though the media chooses to report on mail theft as “stolen mail” – an incident, or anecdotal event – rather than “mail identity theft” – a serious and growing crime trend. What do you think? A semantic coincidence, or indicative of something more?

Anywayyy, without further ado, here is just ONE of the MANY news reports of “stolen mail” I found in my inbox this morning, just 12 hours after I set up the new Google News Alert:

Grand jury issues 45 indictments ranging from assault to DWI The Graham Leader – 11/3/09
GRAHAM, TEXAS – […] April Bishop and John Renteria were indicted on one count of unlawful use of a criminal instrument. The two were arrested in September for allegedly using a tool to remove mail from a public mailbox. [They] had made a tool that slipped into the public blue mailboxes. At the end of the tool, a sticky substance was placed to grab the mail. Bay said the duo were looking for cash or checks that could be whitewashed out and cashed. When a sheriff’s deputy stopped [them], he recovered mail in their vehicle, and open mail was found scattered down the highway. The mail that was located was allegedly stolen from a mailbox in Bryson. […]


  1. John on November 5, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    I don’t think this is a coincidence at all. Wherever an opportunity exists for some people to get easy money, they will do it. The fact that stolen mail leads to identity theft is just a consequence of human behavior and the words used to describe it differ.

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