SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Over the past three to four months, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and Tyler Police Department have received excessive amounts of mail theft reports.
The suspects are known to take large amounts of envelopes from blue mailboxes typically found in parking lots of local businesses.
The most common mail taken is business and personal checks and other financial envelopes.
Once the mail is taken, suspects will erase personal data or duplicate the check in some way. They will then use these counterfeit checks to obtain cash or purchase items, usually outside of the county from where it was stolen.
To help minimize your chances of being victimized by these suspects, take a few extra precautions.
- If you have to mail a check or other financial instrument, consider going to your local post office.
- You can use the drop off point within the building or, preferably, hand-deliver the envelope to the clerk.
- You can hand-deliver the envelope to your local mail carrier
- Consider using your personal mailbox, but know whenever you raise the red flag on your mailbox, you’ve just alerted anyone who happens to see it.
What can you do to help law enforcement? Be vigilant of your neighborhood and surroundings. If you see anyone acting suspiciously around these target areas, call your local law enforcement agency.
If possible, obtain a suspect/vehicle description and a license plate number. Do not attempt to apprehend or detain anyone you suspect has committed these crimes.
For more information on the Smith County Sheriff’s Office visit www.smithcountysheriff.com.