In early November, a condo owner noticed a woman putting what appeared to be mail in a condo complex trash bin. The condo owner called 911. A Lake Stevens police officer found the suspect in a car with “a large amount of mail.” The suspect couldn’t give a good story why she had so much mail in her car. Lake Stevens’ detectives and the United States Postal Service are investigating the woman.
This is a case where a citizen’s tip has led to an investigation of a serious crime. While some calls to 911 may not turn into important investigations, local police agencies appreciate receiving this information.
The Herald article pointed out that mail theft is a major method for ID thieves to get personal information. And with the increased volume of mail during this holiday season, there is an increased opportunity for mail thieves to steal identities. Some ways that you can prevent mail theft are:
- Check your mail regularly.
- Use a locked mailbox or a post office box.
- On vacation have the post office hold your mail for you (you can go online for this service at https://www.usps.com/) or have a trust neighbor pick up your mail.
- Call 911 if you see someone hanging around your mailbox or following the letter carrier or other delivery services (UPS, Federal Express).
This older article about mail theft, on page 3, from the Sheriff’s Office’s July/August 2002 issue of the crime prevention newsletter is still valid: