COCONUT GROVE, FLA. (WSVN) - - A thief was captured on surveillance footage stealing mail from a Coconut Grove woman’s home, and the victim fears the thief may have stolen some important items.
Joani Riviere said her cameras captured the bandit stealing her mail just before 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
“Opens it up, pulls out what she wanted, left the mailbox open,” she said. “I was very violated.”
Surveillance footage captured a woman arriving on an electric scooter and parking it next to Riviere’s trash can. She then walks up the driveway, puts on a mask and steps out of frame, but her shadow remains visible.
According to Riviere, that’s when the thief stole her items.
“Pulls out my mail, puts it in her tote bags and takes off again,” she said.
With many Americans expecting to receive a stimulus check from the federal government, Riviere said she wants people to be vigilant.
“I really want to advise other people who are expecting their refunds or their stimulus checks to be aware that it could be missing because of these people who are professional thieves,” she said.
Ivan Ramirez is a United States Postal Inspector. He said his team has been preparing for the stimulus check rollout, and they have crews out in the field keeping an eye out.
“These are mostly crimes of opportunity,” Ramirez said. “Some of these areas we are kind of familiar with, that we’ve had issues in the past, or we’ve had historical research that says this might be a problem, because we’re looking at what’s happened, especially those areas. We’re kind of flooding them more.”
To prevent others from becoming a victim, Ramirez recommends residents to have a mailbox with a lock, using a P.O. Box and not letting their mail sit overnight. People can also track their packages online, but Ramirez said one of the best things people can do is be vigilant.
“You are our best ally,” Ramirez said. “Your eyes and ears are our best ally.”
If your stimulus check is stolen, contact the Internal Revenue Service.
If you have any information on stolen mail, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.
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