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Mail Theft on Rise in Oroville

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Updated: 10/10/2013 5:32 pm

Mail theft appears to be on the rise in the city of Oroville.

Mail theft and fraud, by in large, isn't new to cities across the country, including Oroville.

But this "crime of opportunity" seems to be picking up in popularity in Oroville, where citizens are remaining vigilant and authorities are trying to figure out what's going on.

You've got mail, or in Oroville, maybe not.

Because mail theft and fraud, appears to be on the rise recently.

17 cases of neighborhood delivery collection box units have been reported.

And to regional Postal Inspector Jeff Fitch, that stands out.

Sarah Britton owns a dry cleaning business in town, and is extra vigilant these days.

She has important business mail sent to a PO Box at the Robinson street location.

“Just telling people, it might not seem like a big deal, but you have to report it or police can't do anything about it,” Britton said.

Oroville police did do something about a recent string of mail theft and fraud cases in residential neighborhoods.

Last week, Daniel Shamblin and Evangeline Prichard, boyfriend, and girlfriend were arrested on charges of mail theft and fraud.

“That’s what these crooks are doing, stealing mail. It’s a crime of opportunity, they want to get checks, bank information…it's identity theft,” said Sgt. John Bruschi with Oroville Police. “They're creating counterfeit checks and obtaining credit cards fraudulently, and altering checks for their own personal gain.”

Maria Johnson constantly fears her monthly pension check could be stolen, in addition to other things.

“I do mail a lot of packages, and get a lot of packages. I have an E-Bay store so I’m always concerned,” Johnson said.

Sgt. Bruschi says mail fraud is a daily, widespread, and ongoing problem.

“You need to have the mindset that your mail is not safe in your mailbox,” Bruschi said.

That way, you’ve got mail.

Anyone with information on this recent string of mail thefts is urged to call Oroville police at 530-538-2448 or you can call the 24-hour postal inspector hotline at 877-876-2455.

They are offering a $10,000 dollar reward to anyone with information leading to the suspects in the case.

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