Harris County woman targets checks in mailboxes
Harris County Sheriff's investigators say a woman captured on surveillance at a local bank is so crafty and clever you could easily be her next target, if you're not careful.
"One of my checks that I put in my mailbox had been cashed for a totally different amount than I had written it," Stacie said.
Someone swiped a $20 check from the mailbox in front of her southeast Harris County home, removed her name, altered the amount to $800 using a process called washing, and then cashed it.
Authorities released a surveillance photo of a woman whom they believe is part of the organized crime ring, a group of at least five, that's behind the mail thefts. Stacie says she would later learn from her mail carrier, this was not an isolated incident.
"He said just so you know, you're the ninth house this has happened to in the neighborhood," Stacie said.
Police tell Local 2 the thieves have been driving around several neighborhoods in Harris and Fort Bend County, specifically looking for mailboxes with the flags up.
The scheme is called flagging. They've been ripping off their victims to the tune of several thousand dollars.
"We really need the public's help in identifying this individual so we can put her behind bars," said Deputy Joshua Nowitz, with the Harris County Sheriff's office.
Stacie got her money back and hopes her story will convince others not to make the same mistake she did.
"I just feel violated that I can't even use my mailbox in the front yard," Stacie said.
Mail theft is a federal crime so the U.S. Postal Inspector is also investigating these cases. If you know who the woman in the surveillance photo is, call the Harris County Sheriff's Office at 713-967-5773.