Caught on camera: Woman steals from mailboxes
Police: Thief used mail for identity theft
Police fear there may be more victims after they arrested a woman accused of stealing mail from several mailboxes and using stolen personal information for identity fraud.
Officers arrested Lori Ann Souza, 47, after noticing her prowling in the area of Sea Isle Circle and South Palmetto Avenue in South Daytona. Inside her purse, they found envelopes belonging to people in the area, said police.
Home security video shows a woman reach inside a mailbox, grab mail, then walk to another mailbox down the street and reach inside it.
"In the morning when I leave, I do notice the mailbox lids have been down, all the way down the street, every morning," said Eric Slack, who knows he could be a victim. "It's an easy target -- a mailbox -- nobody really polices it. It's an easier crime than breaking in and stealing something from a store and the payout could be much greater."
For some, the damage has already been done. Police think Souza stole the mail in order to steal identities and cash on with fake credit cards using social security numbers, bank statements or other personal information.
Souza faces a prowling and drug-related charge and was taken to jail on a $500 bond. Neighbors fear she'll be back, but some plan to stay one step ahead of the next mailbox theft.
"We check our mail as soon as the mailman comes by," said Carol Christensen.
Police said if you notice your mailbox open, you could be a victim and may not know it for weeks. So far, three people have already reported their identities were stolen.