Detectives from the Montgomery County Police-4th District Petty Crimes Unit are currently investigating theft of checks from a mailbox in Silver Spring. The suspect has used those checks and information contained on those checks to commit various forms of fraud and identity theft.
On February 7, officers responded to a residence in the 15400 block of Tierra Drive in Silver Spring for the report of fraud. The two victims (husband and wife) had received a telephone call from their bank and were asked to verify a check. The male victim realized that although the check was valid, his signature had been forged on the check. The victims also determined that another check was fraudulently passed and that the suspect(s) attempted to open a credit card in one of the victim’s names.
Detectives believe that the suspects stole the checks from the victims’ mailbox. The victims had ordered new checks from their bank to be delivered to their home. The victims went on vacation and the checks were never received.
Investigators have obtained surveillance photographs of the suspect fraudulently passing these stolen checks at banks. Anyone with information about this crime or the suspect involved is asked to call the 4th District Petty Crimes Division at 240-773-5475 or 240-773-5476. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or leave a Crime Solvers tip here. Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this felony crime.
The following are tips to help prevent identity theft and fraud originating from the mail in your mailbox :
- Install a locked mailbox at your residence to deter mail theft.
- Use a post office box or a commercial mailbox service.
- When you are away from home for an extended time, have your mail held at the Post Office or ask a neighbor or friend to collect it.
- When ordering new checks, pick them up at the bank or request that the checks be sent with a signature requirement.
- Suspects often steal mail, remove mail, and look for outgoing checks. The suspects then alter and cash the checks at area banks. (See recent press release: “Police Warn Residents of Mail Thefts.”) Drop important outgoing mail at local post offices or in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox. Also consider not using the “flag” on your mailbox as an alert that there is mail waiting in the box.