WOODLAND HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Residents in Woodland Hills are being warned to keep locks on their mailboxes after police say there has been an increase in mail and identity theft in the area.
A homeowner who did not want to show his face on camera told KCAL9’s Peter Daut that he saw the man who was captured on video drive up to his house Friday afternoon.
The footage shows the man stopping his vehicle, then slowly backing up in front of the mailbox. Moments later, Daut says, the man is seen getting out of the vehicle and casually looking for mail.
Empty-handed, the man walks up to the front door, a dog barks, and he quickly gets back into his vehicle and drives away.
The homeowner believes the man could be the same person he claims stole his identity and checked the mail to intercept any fraud warnings from credit card companies.
The homeowner said that last week, someone opened several credit cards in his name and spent roughly $3,000.
“It’s a big nightmare and a big headache because it means having to call all of these different companies to report the fraud,” the homeowner said.
Police said there has been an increase in mail and identity theft in Woodland Hills involving dozens of victims.
Since most homes don’t have security cameras, many people may not even realize they’ve been targeted.
That’s why police are advising residents to keep a lock on their mailboxes.
“We will definitely appreciate when our new locking mailbox is in place. We will feel safer,” the homeowner said.
Meanwhile, police are trying to figure out if the suspect is connected to this incident and other crimes in the area and have asked anyone who recognizes him to give them a call.