Beware of 'Mailboxing' - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Beware of 'Mailboxing'

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EAST MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

All this month you'll find Ronnie Banz on mailbox patrol.  "About three years ago, here in harbor town, two fellas were walking by.  One acted like he was looking at houses. The other was stealing out of the mailbox."  They were stealing his income tax return.  Some call it 'Mailboxing'.   "He had all of my personal information." 

Banz says he called the cops and the suspects were arrested on the spot.   "I don't know how many people's mail he had in his pocket."

Around the holidays officials with the Memphis Postal Inspection Service say it happens more and more.  

Dot Kellow lives a few doors down and she says "I don't ever send money anymore."  She's also on mailbox patrol but, we know that's not a reality for everyone. 

"Locked mailboxes are good. PO boxes are good as well," says Chip Washington with the Shelby County Sheriff's office.  he says by taking that route you're also protecting your identity. 
"The criminal element is steady studying to see how they can take what you have."  He also recommends keeping an eye on your neighbor.  "There's some people living on this island that have lived here 10 or 15 years. They don't know who lives next door to them," says Banz.

Stealing mail is a Federal Offense.  If convicted you could get a 30 year prison sentence.  So play it safe and don't let a real life grinch steal Christmas.  

Mailbox patrol might do the trick.

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