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Police get closer to catching mailbox thief

SHAWNEE, Okla. – Oklahomans are warning others after they said a thief has been able to steal hundreds of dollars from their bank accounts, and at first, they had no idea it had even happened.

Police said the criminal responsible has access to anyone because they can get to bank account by simply opening your mailbox.

Someone stole $232 dollars from Joan Reeves.

“It just invades your privacy and you feel like somebody’s trying to take something from you and they don’t even know you,” Reeves said.

The theft is happening in quiet neighborhoods around Shawnee.

Police said they believe the thief is a woman and detectives have learned her technique.

Investigators said she is waiting for your red flag to go up on your mailbox.

Then she swoops in and take your mail.

Authorities said she’s after your bills and the checks inside.

The crook is looking for routing and account numbers.

With that, she makes her own checks with false names.

Victims don’t even realize their mail was stolen until bills come back unpaid.

“They’re sending off a bill to their insurance company,” Det. Jason Crouch said. “Well, the next month they get another bill from them and the company never received the first one.”

“I think she’s a very mean person and not a very honest person,” Reeves said. “I never worried about putting my checks in the mailbox but I won’t anymore.”

After 25 years in her community, Reeves said it’s unfortunate to change that simple part of life.

Police said they are getting closer to catching the woman.

They have surveillance video from several stores and they want to interview the person in that video.

The woman responsible could face numerous counts of check fraud.

Police said she could also face federal charges for stealing out of mailboxes.