Here's a news release from Spokane Valley police Sgt. Dave Reagan:
Numerous Spokane Valley residents living in the area of 14300 to 14600 East Sixth reported their mail being stolen from street-side rural mailboxes between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon.
Residents found their mail opened and tossed on the ground along the roadway. It was unknown if the thief found anything of value to steal, but identity thieves frequently target mail to obtain personal financial information which they then use to victimize the intended mail recipient.
Outgoing personal checks provide thieves with the names, addresses and account numbers of checking account holders, and incoming mail can provide pre-approved loan applications which can be activated with a simple signature.
Although financial institutions usually cover the victim’s monetary loss, it can take months or years to fix the victim’s credit history damaged by the suspect’s thefts.
Law enforcement professionals encourage all area residents to purchase a locking roadside mailbox to receive incoming mail on rural routes, or to rent a mailbox at the nearest post office.
Outgoing mail containing checks or cash should always be deposited in the larger blue U.S. Postal Service mailboxes located at shopping malls, grocery stores or in front of post office annexes.