Mail theft is a massive problem in many communities. It usually starts before the holidays when strangers target holiday packages left on porches. It continues well into the New Year as tax refund checks start to come in the mail.
Inside an ordinary brown paper box, 500 giant cockroaches were traveling to their new home. They were ordered to become a part of a research study by a local entomologist.
Suspects in the area steal mail for several reasons. First, things like income tax checks are easy to turn into quick cash.
Second, statements from bank accounts can contain information that can be used to steal one’s identity.
Lastly, if the suspect has already taken an identity, they may steal mail tied to new impostor accounts.
Impostor accounts can signal consumers that their information has been compromised. Burglars may return to a mailbox they already hit to remove new bills tied to accounts the consumer has no idea they even have.
Stealing packages are often tied to a much more immediate reward. Suspects who take a package off the front porch are looking for high ticket items.
There is an assumption during this time of year that many people are using tax money to buy things like electronics or even gifts. Even a smaller box can contain something worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.
It is pretty safe to assume the person who stole the box off of the front porch at the home of Vizina was not looking for new pets. There is little doubt that the 500 cockroaches were something they did not celebrate finding.
Cockroaches are not something the average American pays much attention to unless of course, they happen upon one in their home. Vizina was concerned about the missing bugs because she was to study them.
She is concerned that the group of 500 large insects was squished or otherwise killed. Her concern is not for the fear that the person stealing the box might feel as they discover the insects inside the stolen parcel.
While many assume a scientist like Vizina takes her job very seriously, the bug specialist shared a bit of a laugh with the news crew covering the missing box. Vizina shared:
“I feel bad for the roaches in case they got smushed or tossed or something like that. For the thieves, I hope they went everywhere.”
Many in the neighborhood that surrounds Vizina’s house share a similar hope for the crooks. Having mail or packages stolen can often become a big problem for everyone in the area.
Thieves often do not merely steal one item, but instead, they use information within the box or letter to steal even more from the residents. This can include attacking the credit of the residents and using fake accounts to buy items that are never paid off.
In the United States, each year 12,157,400 people on average have their identity stolen. Many of these people are also victims of mail theft.
Each time a person in America has their identity stolen, the average cost of the theft hits $5,130.
Obtaining new credit cards or accounts in the victim’s name is the most popular form of mail based identity theft.
There are also a wide variety of cases where suspects use stolen information to obtain other types of credit like a car loan in the unsuspecting person’s name.
In rare cases, the identities can be used in other ways as well. They can be sold and used to create documents for illegal aliens.
They can also be used when a suspect is arrested. A suspect using a fake license can avoid authorities finding out about a criminal history when pulled over for a traffic violation for example.
It is safe to assume that the people stealing packages and other mail in the area were up to no good. Many in the area found it a bit funny to think that the person who took the packages got a vast and shocking surprise when the contents made themselves known.