In King County, Washington mail theft is a big deal. While many newer developments have locked mail boxes, those that don’t have found their mail has gone missing of late. At the end last year I had written about a rash of theft around Christmas. It turns out there were many more victims than initially thought.
The woman arrested this month for mail theft was among the top five ‘most wanted’ identity thieves in King County; and along with a male suspect, she may be responsible for stealing mail from 150 victims. As reported in www.kirotv.com.
Bobbie Catton and Juan Rivera-Barrera were stopped in a green, Plymouth sedan just after 4 a.m. New Year’s Day.
Bellevue officers noticed there was a lot of other people’s mail in the car. One piece of mail was an insurance statement for Lori Walund.
Walund said that police came to her door at about 5 a.m. that day.
“He asked me if I knew these people by name…and if they had permission to have my mail in their car, and I said no,” Walund said.
Court documents show the stolen mail also included some addressed to Walund’s daughter.
“She’s always getting these credit cards given to her. And all she needs to do is sign her name and call a certain number, and get credit. I always just tear them up and throw them out,” Walund said,
“Somebody could clearly take a credit card, sign her name, and have credit on her.”
Court documents state other victims were scattered across King County, in places like Renton, Redmond and Woodinville.
In the search of the car, authorities found 162 forged or stolen bank checks, 16 stolen credit/debit cards, 15 medical insurance and benefit cards, 37 laminated foreign bills from different countries, a hefty bag with stamp kits and white-out, a typewriter, IRS documents, and tools like screwdrivers, hammers and bolt cutters.
Catton has 11 felony convictions and served 33 months in prison in 2002 for stolen mail and identity theft. She has 10 warrants in King County going back to 1995. After her arrest, Catton posted bail.
Rivera-Barrera remains in the King County Jail on a $25,000 bond. He has two felony convictions and 24 warrants in King County going back to 2003.