More than 340 targeted by Austin-area mail theft ring

ROLLINGWOOD, Texas (KXAN) — The list of victims is 340 and growing. They were the targets of mail thieves striking in upscale communities across Travis, and now, Hays County.

The ring of thieves have struck Rollingwood, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Lakeway, Steiner Ranch, Onion Creek and beyond.

“Mail theft, identity theft, is bigger than drugs, and it’s growing,” Rollingwood Police Det. Joel Martin warns. “But we’re going to get harder and harder to shake. We’re going to come after them.”

Last week Rollingwood arrested three suspects. Police found their car was filled with checks, credit cards, bank statements and heroin. Martin says the three are not cooperating but officers believe they have accomplices.

During that arrest, four boxes of evidence were seized. One has been processed so far, revealing 340 victims, so law officers expect many more victims to turn up.

Rollingwood resident Jean Girou had a delivery of new bank checks stolen from her mail box. Someone cashed a check for $900.

“One of the reasons we chose to live here is it was very safe,” Girou said, “so when we learned my checks were stolen I could not believe it…I’ve changed everything I can to online. No bills, no credit cards or bank statements now go through the mail.”

Other Rollingwood residents are also wary.

“I’ll be keeping an eye out for anyone walking by and who is in the neighborhood, even more so,” John Lakoski said.

Law officers suggest residents get more secure mailboxes. Boxes with a lock only the owner can open, and only a slot for the mail delivery. When in doubt, police ask you give contact them, preferably by email.

“If you see suspicious vehicles you need to call police,” Martin said. “That’s what we’re here for. it doesn’t matter how many calls we get, we’re going to go.”

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