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Thieves Stealing Credit Cards and Checks Out of Mailboxes

A woman is accused of stealing a credit card out of a mailbox and going on a $5,000 shopping spree.
A woman is behind bars, accused of stealing a credit card out of a mailbox and going on a $5,000 shopping spree. Bryant police arrested 30 year old Gennie Carter after a man noticed charges on his account which weren't his. 

Bryant police are calling this a trend, people stealing credit cards and checks out of your mailbox.  Police say this latest arrest is a reminder to be aware.

“Anybody can drive by, open it, get it and they're gone,” explains Bryant Detective Jimmy Long.

That's what police say landed 30 year old Gennie Carter in jail. She faces 36 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card after police say she stole one from a man's mailbox in Benton.

According to police, Carter confessed to using the card in to buy items ranging from electronics, to clothes and food.  Police say surveillance video shows Carter using the card at Target in Bryant.

Sam Turney lives across the street from the credit card victim. "With today’s times, with fuel prices the way they are, the amount of people out of work. Hey, they'll steal anything as long as it's not nailed down," says Turney.

According to police, credit card theft isn't Carter's only vice. She's accused of stealing checks out of mailboxes too.

"What we're seeing is people washing checks-rewriting them. But once someone has your check it's very easy to reproduce that check with your account number on it," says Long.

So, what can you do to prevent from being the next easy target? Police suggest, if you make a payment with a check, instead of mailing it from home, drop it off at the post officeDon't leave the red flag up if there are bills in your mailbox, it's better to mail bills at the post office.  

"That's just a red flag; they'll know there's mail in your box. The mailman is going to open your mailbox regardless."

You can also have mail sent to a P.O. Box, which Turney already does and intends to stay cautious.

“As far as mailing any bills, we put nothing in our mailbox,” says Turney.

Other suggestions:
  • To prevent getting credit card offers in the mail, call 1-800-OPT-OUT or look at the fine print on the offer and check the box to prevent getting future offers.
  • If you order checks, have them delivered to your bank instead of your home.
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