Mailbox alarm saves elderly couple from thieves

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EDMOND, Okla. - A mailbox alarm appears to have saved an elderly couple from thieves.

When the DePaties installed a mailbox alarm to let them know when the mailman came, they didn't know it would help them shut down a thief making off with their bank account information.

Saturday morning, Phyllis DePatie says she got up to look out of the window after her mailbox alarm went off.

She expected to see the mailman, but instead, she saw a grey truck in front of her mailbox.

When her husband went to see what happened, he found his mail had been stolen.

"Our social security checks go into that account as well as retirement checks," DePatie said.

DePatie says almost a dozen accounts were in jeopardy because of one stolen utility check.

She said they didn't install the alarm to catch thieves.

"It's a real convenience so we don't have to go out there unnecessarily," DePatie said.

They say if they hadn't had the alarm they would have had no idea.

Luckily they were able to close their bank account before anyone could access it.

"They didn't get much from us," DePatie said.

Officials say tampering with mail is a federal crime that can land you in prison for up to five years.

If you've fallen victim to a crime like this click here to get tips from the FBI on how to protect your identity.


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