Pelham Police arrest man for mail theft, check fraud; offer tips to keep mail safe

Rocky Allen Townsend.
Rocky Allen Townsend.(Source: Pelham Police Department)
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 10:25 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PELHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - On Dec. 6, investigators with the Pelham Police Department arrested Rocky Allen Townsend for mail theft and check fraud.

Police say Townsend was observed by employees at a Pelham business going through their mailbox and notified the police. Investigators located and arrested Townsend as he was attempting to leave the city.

During the investigation, officers located checks that were later determined to have been stolen from private mailboxes in several Shelby County cities.

“Mail theft continues to present a growing challenge to area law enforcement. Pelham investigators work closely with the U.S. Postal Inspectors Office to combat this growing crime trend, but we also ask that our citizens and local businesses remain vigilant and take precautions when mailing checks/money orders,” Pelham Police posted on Facebook.

Some tips from police to keep your mail safe include:

  • Deposit mail in collection boxes as close to the indicated pickup time as possible, or bring it inside the post office for mailing.
  • If you choose to leave outgoing mail in your mailbox, don’t put up the flag.
  • Try not to leave incoming or outgoing mail sitting in your mailbox for an extended time, particularly overnight.
  • Sign up for Informed Delivery. With this free service, USPS will email you images of everything that will be delivered to your home that day, so you’ll know what to expect (and what’s missing) when the carrier drops off your mail. Click here for more information.
  • Use the USPS Hold Mail service (you can sign up at this link.) If you’ll be away from home, or have a neighbor collect your mail.
  • Keep an eye on your bank accounts for potential fraud, and report suspicious activity as soon as possible.
  • When making out a check, write out the amount - “One hundred and twenty dollars and ten cents” for example - so the words fill out the line. This makes it more difficult for someone to alter it without washing off the ink. Also, make sure the numeric amount fills the box on the far-right side of the check.

Get news alerts in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or subscribe to our email newsletter here.