Anne Arundel County police said a vehicle was reportedly seen near a mailbox at around 10:30 a.m. Thursday. The outgoing flag on the mailbox was raised, and officers reported that they "knew immediately that this vehicle, occupied by three individuals was not a postal vehicle."
Officers conducted an investigative stop, and during the course of the encounter, police said they saw mail with an Arnold address in possession of the men. The investigation later revealed that the mail from Arnold was stolen.
Police learned that multiple checks were stolen, but recovered an unopened check and another check is still outstanding. The three suspects—Ronnie Trice, 22, of Capitol Heights; James Dorsey, 23, also of Capitol Heights; and Darnell Atkinson, 26, of Fairmont Heights—were all arrested and charged with mail tampering and theft over $1,000.
A joint investigation between Anne Arundel County police and the U.S. Postal Service is ongoing. The agencies offered these tips to help reduce the risk of mail theft and identity theft:
- Retrieve your mail as soon as possible after it is delivered. Don't leave your mail unattended for extended periods. Don't leave it in your mailbox overnight.
- If you cannot regularly retrieve your mail promptly, consider installing a lockable mailbox or obtaining P.O. Box service from your local post office.
- Always place your outgoing mail in a mail slot at your local post office, in a blue USPS collection box, or hand it to your letter carrier.
- If you will be away from home temporarily, you can notify your local post office to hold your mail with the online hold mail service on the US Postal Service website: https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/
- Ask your bank for "secure" checks that can’t be altered.
- Monitor your bank account statements regularly, and report any charges or checks you did not authorize.
- Monitor your credit report and report any accounts you did not authorize.
- If you believe you are a victim of mail theft or identity theft, contact Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 or https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/