HOUSTON – At a time when the pandemic has more and more Houstonians depending on the mail for everything from daily shopping to casting a vote, police and prosecutors say they’re seeing a surge in mail thefts and robberies.
Harris County Assistant District Attorney James Hu is currently overseeing 60 to 70 cases in his court alone.
“I have seen personally an uptick in those types of cases in my own case docket,” he said.
He said thieves usually look for credit cards, checks and valuables. But the big money is in harvesting personal information that can be used for identity theft.
“So they can perhaps create accounts using your identifying information, credit cards using your identifying information,” he said.
Just in September, two postal carriers were robbed at gunpoint by suspects trying to obtain postal mailbox keys. There was also an attempted robbery.
In another case, a suspect, identified as Deonta Callis, 21, was found with stolen mail and postal keys in his possession. He was spotted near a post office in West University Place and stopped on September 7. In his car, police discovered two postal keys and 259 pieces of other people’s mail.
Two weeks later, Houston police and U.S. postal inspectors arrested 17-year-old Melvin Blunson, after he allegedly robbed one mail carrier in the 2100 block of Orean and then tried to rob another one in the 900 block of Regal Street.
While there is no hard data compiled yet, Hu with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said investigators at both the local and federal levels are beefing up resources and manpower to combat the growing number of cases.