LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Residents of a Central Lubbock neighborhood are hoping the thieves breaking into their mailboxes are caught, as they warn others of the risks posed to victims of this crime.
Kerrie Pinkney lives east of Lubbock Christian University on Aberdeen Avenue. Her home security system caught a man walking up to her home and taking the mail off her porch that was delivered after she returned from vacation. After giving the box to the passenger in the small, tan car, the suspect goes back to search the secured mailbox.
"He was so brazen to hang out for about 4 minutes when committing a federal crime," Pinkney said. "I don't think it's that unobvious there are security cameras on all of the homes here. Between myself and my neighbors, we have pretty much all of the streets and all of the angles covered."
The thieves got away with textbooks, checks and more. Pinkney and her neighbors are not only losing money but are now at risk for identity theft.
"These thieves are incredibly smart," Pinkney said. "They can wash your checks and actually write them out to themselves and get the ink out and fill them out themselves and use them that way. A lot of the junk mail you get actually has enough information on it for people to effectively steal your identity."
Photos taken in September from Pinkney's security cameras show a white, single cab Chevrolet Silverado pulling up to her mailbox. Pinkney tells KCBD NewsChannel 11 the driver found nothing inside, as she just got her mail out. The neighborhood has had to reinforce mailboxes with wire or padlocks. Along with reporting the incidents to the U.S. Postal Inspector for an investigation, she said they've notified their mailman.
"Our mailman has reported that he's seen [the suspects] just a few streets over sort of hanging around," Pinkney said. "He's been trying to catch them in the act of doing something. Unless you catch them in the act, you can't do anything other than to make the same report we do."
Pinkney said she has confidence the U.S. Postal Service will catch the thieves now that they are clearly on camera. She hopes other residents of Lubbock will say something if they see something.
"This doesn't just happen at Christmas when we are all getting packages and things," Pinkney said. "That's kind of the time people think of this stuff but it's happening all year long."
The Lubbock Police Department advises making a report if you become a victim of mail theft. The Department says that way if it is found, it will know it's stolen and who it belongs to. LPD can also establish trends to see where and how often the crime is happening.