Victims Fearful Of Identity Theft After Mail Stolen - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/6/04 - Smith County

Victims Fearful Of Identity Theft After Mail Stolen

Hundreds of pieces of mail and pieces of identification have been stolen from homes in Smith County. The suspect is in jail, but victims are still scared that the information could still be used to steal their hard earned credit.

Robert Duren stood before Judge Quincy Beavers to be arraigned.  He acknowledged he was aware of his charge.  

Investigators think for the better part of a month, maybe longer, he has been cruising neighborhoods all over southern Smith County, pilfering mail from boxes. For what final use? Folks like Jamie Sabota can only imagine.

"It makes me angry. It makes me fearful because I don't know what kind of information the perpetrator got or what he has on me or my family," she says.

Jamie and her neighbor JaLynne Murray both had mail found in Duren's car when he was stopped Tuesday morning.

"There were my credit card statements, and there were my bank statements which had my account information as well as my husbands. And then in a separate envelope, there was my daughter's account information who is away at school," she says.

Both women have had to cancel accounts, call banks and anyone who might have had a piece of mail stolen.

"We had to close down all our accounts," Murray says.

Now they're waiting for bad news they pray will never come, about mail that was never delivered.

"We're checking by looking at the credit report to see if it's changed, or getting a call from someone."  Sabota says. 

Jamie's making sure her mail is in her hands just after the mailman drops it off and Jalynne's ripped her mailbox clean out of the ground.

"We did have to go to a P.O. box which does require me every day to drive to the post office to pick up our mail," Jalynne said.

That's the price they're paying.  They hope, if guilty, Duren pays a price too.

"[I want him to] go to prison, because he was stealing," Sabota says.

If you think you've been a victim of mail theft or mail fraud, call the Postal Inspection Service in Dallas at (214) 760-4353.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.

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