A woman was arrested for suspected mail theft from hundreds of victims in Jonesboro, a release on social media said Monday.
In early February, police say a victim noticed that his credit card was used fraudulently at multiple locations in Jonesboro. The victim called his card company and learned that a new copy of his card had been mailed to him and that he never received it. That was where the suspicions began that someone had stolen his mail.
During the investigation, police learned a red Chrysler Town and Country was spotted multiple times by the victim’s neighbors parked in the street near the victim’s residence. The individuals who spotted the van stated that they suspected the van was stealing mail.
The case detective obtained video of suspect transactions from the victim’s credit card statement. A woman, later determined by police to be Valerie Spence, can be seen as she inserts the card chip to make the purchases, the release said. She is seen driving a red Chrysler Town and Country identical to the suspect van.
The tag on the vehicle was located using traffic cameras and the case detective located the suspect van in Brookland at the confirmed residence of Valerie Spence.
Detectives executed a search warrant on Spence’s residence on February 22 and located numerous items purchased with the victim’s card. They also found mail belonging to 247 different victims – several of which lived in the area where the suspect van was spotted by concerned citizens who suspected it was involved in mail theft.
The seized mail contained credit card offers, bank statements, birth certificates, W-2’s, and many other documents containing the sensitive information of multiple victims. Detectives also located notebooks and hand written notes with detailed profiles of victim information including bank account numbers, social security numbers, and copies of their credit debit cards taped to the page. There were notes with to-do lists with tasks on them to make fake driver’s licenses, print checks, and to call victims and pretend to be with their bank.
A total of 24 physical debit cards in other people’s names were located among the stolen mail. A used meth pipe and pill bottle with meth residue was also located.
Spence was placed in custody and read Miranda rights. She admitted to being the woman on video using the initial victim’s card, but claimed she “found” all the other mentioned evidence and mail.
Spence went before Judge Boling on Monday and was charged with 1 felony count of Financial Identity Fraud, 20 felony counts of Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, 1 felony count of Theft of Property, 1 felony count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and 228 counts of misdemeanor Theft $1000 or less. Her bond was set at $50,000 cash surety.
Police say they’re contacting all of the victims and there is no need to reach out to the department.