Dallas police said they believe they have broken up a major identity-theft ring.
Officers discovered all kinds of stolen personal information inside a motel room on Finnell Street. Police arrested Mark Anthony, but investigators said they believe he may be part of a larger operative of identity thieves.
Police said they suspect the thieves may be getting personal information from people’s mailboxes.
“Right now, there could be hundreds of victims,” Senior Cpl. Janice Crowther said.
Officers found credit-card applications, birth certificates, drivers licenses and Social Security cards in the motel room, according to a police report.
“If it should have been in the U.S. mail stream and it was taken by Mr. Anthony, he will be charged with mail theft," said Amanda McMurrey, an inspector for the U.S. Postal Service.
Dallas police said they confiscated 61 pieces of mail in the motel room, none of which had Anthony’s name on it.
Eddie Jones, a Dallas accountant whose identity was recently stolen, said he hopes one of those pieces of mail has his name on it.
“I hope I am one of those guys, obviously, so maybe it will stop,” he said.
Jones called the experience a financial nightmare.
“It’s just ongoing, every day something new can happen, that you have to go fix,” he said.
Police say mail theft has been a problem as of late, particularly in North Dallas, where Jones lives.
“None of us have locking mailboxes, and maybe we should,” Jones said. “Then your mail is safe when the postman drops it off.”
Stealing a piece of mail is punishable by up to five years in prison, according to McMurrey.
Anthony was being held in the Dallas County Jail on $81,000 bail as of Tuesday night.