We’ve lived in our house for two years, and my 7-year-old and our mail carrier have become pen pals through an exchange of artwork and little notes my son tucks into our mailbox, and return greetings and sketches from the friendly man in the blue and white truck whom my son has never met.
Nothing would surprise me more than to learn this man was stealing my mail, and using my personal information to take out credit cards in my name. But that’s what seems to have happened to the residents of Carey, Ohio, a rural community of only 3,900.
After nearly 20 years of delivering mail to her neighbors Marsha Billock-Strahm was charged with stealing, not just her neighbors’ mail, but their identities. Billock-Strahm, 48, was indicted in federal court this week on one count of aggravated identity theft, five cases of identity theft, four counts of false credit card applications and one count of mail theft.
Billock-Strahm used credit cards and convenience checks to make transactions totaling more than $12,500. She intercepted the credit cards and subsequent statements to conceal the crimes, according to the indictment.
The burg’s mayor, John Rymer, described Cary as a tight-knit, Christian town, and said he expects that if the allegations turn out to be true, the residents will forgive their neighbor and former letter carrier.
More than 10 million people became identity theft victims in 2008 -- one every three seconds.