Is Your Mailbox a Lure for Identity Theft?

CHESTERFIELD,   MISSOURI ( KTVI)- A warning tonight to Missouri  residents do not leave outgoing  mail in your mailboxes?   Police say that little red flag is an invitation to thieves.

Chesterfield police are warning homeowners to monitor their mailboxes after  a string of mail and identity thefts in  West St. Louis County including Chesterfield , Ballwin and Town and Country.  “People came  to their mailboxes  place out information to be sent  out  some of them contained checks .   As it turns out, the bad guys took advantage of that ‘,” said Captain Steven Lewis , Chesterfield  Police Department.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 400,000 Americans last year had their mail stolen, and subsequently became the victims of identity theft.Stealing mail is a federal offense and suspects could face jail time.

Recently some residents were hit along White Lane Drive, Isle View and Country Ridge  in Chesterfield .  “People go to their mailbox and  find something that should be there and is not.  It raises grave concern, ” said Mary  Parker.   “I will be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and people   looking through mailboxes, ”  Tanya Denardi  .

Police say outgoing and incoming mail have been  targeted . Chesterfiled Polcie say when you raise the red flag  on your mail box for the postman to pick up a letter  you are also sending a message to  thieves. “A red flag   lets the   bad guys know  hey I got something here, ” said Captain Lewis.

Early Thursday morning  FOX2 News  crews captured video of letters pulled out of mailboxes in Wildwood.  Police say  nothing was stolen  but residents should always  check thier  bank staments just in case.

Police suggest  if you have something  credit card bill statements  that you are paying  and you don’t pay those online , Police  recommend you take them to the post office.

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