SHERIFF CARMINE MARCENO’S NOVEMBER FRAUD ALERT: MAIL THEFT
It has been brought to my attention, by our Economic Crimes Unit, that the Lee County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of calls for service regarding mail theft from both residential and commercial mailboxes.
Suspects are primarily searching for checks and/or checkbooks with the intention of altering and forging them. A third-degree felony, forged and altered checks can result in enormous losses. As it is the victim’s responsibility to both notice the theft of funds and to file for repayment, these crimes sometimes go undetected and unreported.
Mail theft is a crime of opportunity. Reducing and/or eliminating that opportunity is our very best defense.
Be aware of mail delivery times in your neighborhood. Whenever possible, remove the day’s mail immediately following delivery.
Never allow mail to accumulate. In addition to increasing the likelihood of mail theft, criminals considering home burglary see gathering mail as a sign of an empty home or vacationing residents.
As the majority of these thefts appear to be occurring overnight, never leave outgoing checks in your mailbox during the evening hours. Place outgoing mail in your mailbox as close to pick up time as possible.
Lastly, be observant and be a good neighbor. Report suspicious activity immediately to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office by calling 239-477-1000.