Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Thieves are stealing personal checks and information out of mailboxes in southeast Sedgwick County.
"I really feel violated because we should be able to be safe out here," said Margaret Toombs.
Last month, Toombs' daughter fell victim to mail theft.
"We never had a problem. My dad always said, 'Don't steal two things, and that's a mailbox or a stop sign, 'cause they're federal,'" said Toombs.
Sedgwick County Sheriff's investigators have seen a rise in mail thefts concentrated in the southeast part of the county. The large area affected is from the Wichita city limits to the Butler County line, between 13th St. N. and 95th St. S.
Last week, investigators found a pile of mail on the side of a residential road. No arrests were made.
In March, 33-year-old Shanna Menne and 31-year-old Raymond Jones were arrested for having stolen checks and mail in their car.
"We believe that when they're targeting mailboxes, they're looking for financial information or information that might assist them in identity theft and assuming somebody else's identity," said Capt. Greg Pollock, Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office.
Residents in rural areas of the county are becoming more alert.
"I get my mail every day. I don't let it sit in the box overnight and that's when they were getting them, when people weren't getting their mail every day," said Toombs.
This month, the Sheriff's Office will be sending an informational flyer with mail theft prevention tips to help residents in the affected area.
If you see suspicious people or vehicles in your neighborhood, call 911.