North Vancouver RCMP release video of slick mail thieves in action
'You can tell ... that they've done this before. They're organized, completely disguised and work quickly'
North Vancouver RCMP have released a video of a team of practised mail thieves who made quick work of mailboxes in the lobby at 124 West First Street early in the morning on Feb. 17.
The three suspects, who all appear to be male, wore gloves and hid their faces with masks, hats and hoodies. One of the suspects uses a pry bar to pop open the mailboxes. Police say they left in a silver SUV.
"You can tell from the video that they've done this before," said Sgt. Peter DeVries. "They're organized, completely disguised, and they work quickly."
Watch as 3 individuals with faces obscured break into apartment mailbox cluster
DeVries says mail theft is one way fraudsters gather information to commit identity theft. Criminals look for:
- Full name.
- Date of birth.
- Social insurance number.
- Full address.
- Mother's maiden name.
- Driver's licence number.
- Personal identification numbers.
- Credit card information.
- Bank account numbers.
- Signature sample.
- Passport number.
According to the RCMP, the information can be used to open new bank accounts and transfer money from existing account balances, rack up credit card charges or apply for new cards, apply for loans, passports or government benefits, and even support terrorist activities.
Suggested steps for protecting yourself include:
- Know your credit and debit card billing cycles.
- Shred personal and financial documents.
- Notify the post office and all financial institutions when you move, and arrange to have mail stopped or picked up if you go away.
Anyone with information about theft is asked to contact Const. Emmaline Hastie at 604-985-1311 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anonymous tips can be made through Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers who will pay a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest.