Red Deer RCMP investigate mailbox break-ins

RCMP urge citizens to take steps to protect themselves from identity theft

Red Deer RCMP are investigating break-ins and theft of mail at a number of apartment and community mailboxes overnight on March 23rd and March 24th.

On March 24th, RCMP received reports of attempted break-ins at apartment mailboxes on Stanton St. and Stanhope Cres.; in both cases, unknown suspects tried to pry open the mailboxes with limited success and it is unknown if any mail was stolen.

On March 25th, Red Deer RCMP received reports of overnight break-ins at community mailboxes on Inglis Cres., Jordan Parkway and Jepsen Cres. In all three cases, the front door of the mailboxes had been removed and unknown amounts of mail stolen. Witnesses to the Inglis Crescent mailbox break-in described one of the suspects as a 6’ tall Caucasian man with short hair, wearing an Edmonton Oilers hat and a red and white plaid shirt. He was driving a newer model white Dodge Ram 1500 and was accompanied by another man.

Criminals who steal mail are targeting pre-paid credit cards, gift cards, cheques and documents that will make it easy for them to access your banking and other personal information. This time of year, thieves are especially targeting the pre-paid credit cards used by tax companies to deliver tax refunds to their clients.

RCMP urge citizens in the affected areas and throughout the community to take steps every day to protect themselves from identity theft:

· If you think your mail may have contained replacement credit or bank cards, or credit or bank statements that could be used to attempt fraud on your accounts, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.

· Are you expecting a tax return via a pre-paid card? Contact the business that handled your tax return immediately.

· Are you expecting personal identification such as a renewed driver’s license or other government-issued identification? Contact the issuing agency immediately.

· Is this the time when you would expect to receive utility bills? Contact the appropriate companies to ensure that you don’t accidentally miss payment. Stolen bills can also be used by fraudsters in attempts to steal your identity, open new accounts or get cash loans.

· RCMP urge people to check their mail every day to lessen the risk of losing important pieces of mail.

Learn more about protecting yourself from fraud by visiting the identity theft section of the RCMP website at http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-fraudes/id-theft-vol-eng.htm and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/protectyourself-protegezvous/index-eng.htm.

If you observe suspicious activity in progress at a mailbox, call 911. If you have information about these investigations, please contact the Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or report it online at www.tipsubmit.com. If your information leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000.

-Submitted by Red Deer RCMP

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