The La Plata County Sheriffs Office said a large amount of mail was stolen from residents overnight in the Animas Valley.
The suspect or suspects rifled through mailboxes in search of checks, credit cards and credit card applications, said Dan Bender, spokesman with the Sheriffs Office.
Several bank statements, particularly from Wells Fargo, have been opened, he said.
The thefts occurred late Thursday and early Friday along county roads 203 and 250 (East Animas Road) as well as U.S. Highway 550, from the northern city limits north to Rockwood, Bender said.
Deputies located three large bags worth of mail that had been discarded, he said.
If residents living in these areas were expecting a check or credit card in the mail, officials recommend they contact their financial institution about a possible theft, Bender said.
Identity theft is a leading crime in America that costs victims billions of dollars every year, he said. Mailboxes are a primary target of criminals perpetrating identity theft.
If residents know when their mail is dropped off, they should pick it up as soon as possible, Bender said. And if residents are mailing sensitive material, including checks or financial information, they should consider using the post office or blue mailboxes in public locations. The red flags on mailboxes can be an indicator to thieves that there are items to be stolen, he said.
If residents find mail discarded along the road they should call dispatch, and a deputy will pick up the mail from them, or residents can take it to the Sheriffs Office at 742 Turner Drive in Bodo Industrial Park.
If you suspect you are a victim of mail theft, call dispatch at 385-2900.