Two recent Alberta crimes highlight the close connection between stolen mail and identity theft, police say.
The most recent incident happened in Red Deer on Sept. 20, when a resident reported seeing two men break into a community mailbox in the Westlake neighbourhood.
When police arrived, the pair ran off. One man was arrrested after a brief foot chase, but police continue to search for the other suspect.
Police said the man arrested was found with a stack of mail and drugs believed to be methamphetamine.
A 24-year-old man has been charged with two counts of theft from mail under $5,000, possessing break-in tools, resisting a peace officer and possessing a Schedule 1 drug.
“RCMP are recovering increasing amounts of stolen mail during arrests,” Const. Derek Turner said Friday. “And it corresponds to increased attempts at identity theft.
“Thieves aren’t just looking for gift cards or credit information, they’re using stolen personal information they gather to access your bank accounts, open new ones in your name, apply for loans and new credit cards.”
In an unrelated incident, RCMP said mail was stolen Sept. 16 from the post office in the village of Glendon, about 250 kilometres northeast of Edmonton,
RCMP are warning Glendon residents of possible fraud attempts if they are missing any mail.
Customers are encouraged to report suspicious activity regarding mail to police or Canada Post.