Hundreds Of Pieces Of Mail Stolen From Mailboxes

Dozens of Smith County residents have had their mail stolen in recent weeks. And authorities have nabbed the suspect.

Robert Lowell Duren was arrested this afternoon at his Smith County home. He faces a federal charge of mail theft and a state charge of identity theft.

Deputies confiscated hundreds of pieces of mail, including utility bills, credit cards, bank statements, and junk mail. The stash is in addition to suspected stolen mail found in Duren's car last week.

The constable says Duren allegedly targeted affluent neighborhoods in Southwest Smith County.

"Two of the mailboxes that I had actually, the persons that owned them, that I had talked to, are the type that have the lockbox in the bottom and the mail has to go in the slot," Precinct 2 Constable Frank Creath said. "He had fished the mail out through the slot."

Creath says Duren allegedly tried to use a few of the stolen credit cards, but was denied because the cards had not been activated. Authorities are now investigating whether Duren has used any other victims' personal information.

Julie Tam, reporting.