Identity theft a concern after mail stolen from Sarasota Co. drop boxes

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SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA)—Local and federal investigators are wondering who is responsible for a string of mailbox thefts that occurred at the following post office locations in Sarasota County:   

  • 1661 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota
  • 935 North Beneva Rd, Sarasota
  • 2055 Siesta Drive, Sarasota
  • 302 Laurel Rd E, Nokomis
  • 333 S Tamiami Trail, Osprey

The mail was stolen from the collection boxes outside these locations after the post offices closed on Wednesday.  

US Postal Inspector Doug Smith told 8 On Your Side the boxes will be replaced, but he wouldn’t disclose if any security changes are being made. His office is working with the Sarasota Police Department and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the case.

“This is not very common. If you feel uncomfortable, you can drop it off at the counter,” Smith said over the phone.The Better Business Bureau suggests victims worried about identity theft check their bank statements and contact their credit bureau. Officials warn against leaving mail in collection boxes overnight.

“Obviously somebody wants credit card details and somebody obviously wants some money,” said Lynette Vanstone.

Vanstone lost thousands of dollars when her mail was stolen a few years ago.

“He actually was selling stuff out of our yard, cars and boats and everything,” she said.  As a result, she has a P.O. Box.

Vanstone is concerned over this latest crime trend.

“This day in age, nothing is safe. Nothing’s really protected but the only way you can protect yourself basically is put it inside the post office,” said Vanstone.

In the meantime, some folks are offering these thieves an alternative:  “They can have my junk mail anytime!” joked Mark Blemaster.

If you have any questions, call the US Postal Service.

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