Theft of Mail Investigated by Howard County Police

Theft of Mail Subject of Howard County Police Investigation
Theft from mailboxes in Howard County dating back to October, 2012 caused Howard County law enforcement officers to issue an advisory to residents, reported The Baltimore Sun. The advisory asked residents to be alert for any irregularities with their mail or any missing items, and to take certain precautions to protect themselves. Thus far, the incidents have been limited to the Laurel and Clarksville areas in Howard County.

Theft of Outgoing Mail in Residents’ Mail Boxes

According to police, it appears that the perpetrators look for mailboxes with outgoing mail, as noted by mailboxes with red flags up. They steal checks from outgoing mail, change payee information on those checks, and then attempt to cash those checks at the victim’s bank. To prevent mail theft, police have recommended that residents refrain from placing mail containing checks in their mailboxes for pickup, instead dropping such items in a neighborhood collection box or bringing them to the nearest post office.

Theft of Mail Can be Avoided if Precautions are Taken

Postal authorities have also issued specific recommendations, including:

  • The prompt removal of all mail from your mailbox
  • Notification of all parties, including the sender and postal authorities, if you do not receive an anticipated check
  • Putting a hold on your mail while out of town
  • Immediately reporting if anyone other than a postal employee or homeowner is seen lurking near mailboxes

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Criminal Defense Attorney, Howard County, Maryland

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