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High Point Police warn of mail theft rings on the rise

High Point Police are giving a stark warning: don't put your checks, gift cards, or pay bills through your mailbox.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — High Point Police are warning homeowners about mail theft rings on the rise.

Police said different groups of people are preying on those sending gifts, as well as those simple paying bills and using their own mailbox.

The department said it has seen an uptick of this postal crime recently.

"We've got several rings actually that are doing this" Financial Crimes Detective Ryan Klejmont with HPPD said.  

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"How do you know there are rings, how do you know it's a group of people, have you caught them on camera?" WFMY News 2's Jess Winters questioned.

"On camera yes," he responded. "We also caught some of the groups at this point but once you get one, another pops up and they'll share information so they know it's a good gig, it's a lot of money to be made."

The red flag up on your mailbox is basically a big red target for these 'rings' of mail thieves Klejmont explained.

"Usually if you have your flag up it means you've got something you're likely paying, or sending as a gift so they steal that."

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Detective Klejmont said the groups of criminals who take checks-only wash them, and write it out to themselves. 

"Then we have another group that just steals all mail and usually what they'll try to get out of that is credit or debit cards that have come from other places. Then they activate the cards because some banks don't have very good safeguards in place."

Klejmont said this kind of crime is through the roof right now: happening almost daily. He said some of it could be attributed to the holidays and more people paying bills via mail during the pandemic.  

His best alternative advice? Online banking. 

"Set up direct withdrawals. If you are dead set on sending checks then you can bring them to the post office and bring them into the building directly."