Deputies assigned to the Southwest District of the Polk County Sheriff's Office are searching for suspect(s) involved in the theft of mail during the past month in the South Lakeland area. Between November 4 and November 22, 2002, from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the following areas were hit:
Residents become victims when they leave mail in their residential mailboxes and leave the red flag on the box up, indicating mail is inside. Suspects have been known to drive around in selected neighborhoods in search of those mailboxes with the flags up signifying outgoing mail. Suspects then sort through the mail, singling out envelopes containing checks, bill payments, or credit card applications. Checks are altered and cashed. Personal credit information is used to commit identity theft.
Deputies in the above-mentioned areas are increasing patrols, working undercover, and serving warrants on known suspects in the area. The Sheriff's Office, especially in light of the upcoming holiday season, is also encouraging county residents to mail outgoing parcels - especially checks, currency, and bill payments - at the Post Office whenever possible, or to purchase and utilize locking mailboxes. Residents are urged to immediately call the Sheriff's Office at 863.533.0444 to report any suspicious vehicles or persons cruising by or stopping at mailboxes.
For more information or to report suspicious
activity relating to these cases please contact Sgt. Eric Rauch at
|Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media|
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