Mailbox theft could mean stolen identities - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Mailbox theft could mean stolen identities

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – One Region 8 woman and her husband told Region 8 News Tuesday she's concerned her identity may have been stolen. According to Nancy Anderson, who lives on Trammel Drive in south Jonesboro, someone stole her W2 tax form sometime over the weekend and threw it out on the parking lot of NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital after opening it. Trammel said she's been told the crime has been happening sporadically in south Jonesboro.

"I call back to the police department on Monday morning and spoke with a detective and he said there was a lot of that happening on our side of town, on the south side. They were aware of it. There really wasn't a whole lot they could do," said Anderson.

According to Jonesboro Police records, no police reports have been filed since January 1st regarding mail theft; however, that doesn't mean the crime hasn't been happening.

"We still have some W2's that we haven't got, but we weren't aware that anybody had gotten into our mail box," said Anderson, who has been retired for less than a year.

Anderson said she watches her mailbox daily and knows when her mailman arrives. The mail carrier Tuesday told her husband that other people have complained about mail theft. Anderson was not home at the time of the incident.

"On Sunday, I got a phone call from a lady whose husband was an inpatient at NEA Baptist Hospital and that she had found some mail on the parking lot," said Anderson. "It happened to be one of my W2's, and she said she found it on the ground. Of course, it was all wet because it had snowed. The snow was melting so it was really wet."

According to the United States Post Office on Race Street in Jonesboro, anyone who suspects mail theft is urged to contact their local police department.

"Anytime a customer has vandalism to a mailbox, they can call us. They can come in and file a complaint. We recommend that they also contact their local law enforcement," said Anita Brownlee. "We've not noticed a trend like that. Sometimes it's just children. Sometimes it's just kids out there playing and vandalizing the mailboxes."

Mailboxes are personal property and protected under federal law, Brownlee said.

"The most secure way is a Post Office Box. If someone wants to make sure they get their mail early in the day, we have them mail boxed by 9 o'clock in the morning and they can have a key and unlock the box. (They can) get it whenever it's convenient for them," said Brownlee.

Anderson said her biggest concern is that someone may steal her identity through her social security number on the tax form. She's also concerned that the culprit may have taken blank credit card offer applications.

"How do I know that there are not some of those that someone is out cashing right now?" said Anderson. "If people are aware that that's happening, they can watch their mail closer."

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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