Police charge 2 in connection with mail theft, identity fraud in - FOX Carolina 21

Police charge 2 in connection with mail theft, identity fraud involving more than 130 victims

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From left: Kendra, Morrison (Source: GPD) From left: Kendra, Morrison (Source: GPD)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Greenville police said Friday that two people had been arrested on multiple charges ranging from identity theft to larceny that stemmed from mail theft and tampering.

Kristopher Michael Kendra, 40, and Misty Baker Morrison, 41, were charged with multiple counts of financial transaction theft involving credit cards, identity theft, fraud, forgery, and larceny.

"What these individuals would do or try to do is wash or remove the person's name from the check using one of the identifications they manufactured," said Lt. Jason Rampey. "They put that name on the check and they take that to a local bank and cash it."

Some checks were just $25, many with the original names already washed out. Others found were as high as $60,000.

"Day to day they want a large enough check where it's profitable for them but not too large where it raises suspicion so I don't know that they would try to go in and cash a $41,000 check," Rampey said. "I think that would raise a lot of red flags, but it does happen."

Police said another part of their scheme was credit cards and they would use a simple statement to gain access to an account.

"So what this person has done is make changes to someone's account, adding themself as a user to that account unbeknownst to the card holder," Rampey said.

All from personal information found in an unsuspecting victim's mailbox. From there, Rampey said they were able to have a new card sent to an address of their choosing. Within days, they could be making transactions on someone else's account.

"It may take some time for them to realize that and by that time they've probably run up a large tab," Rampey said.

The detective said luckily the community played a large part in helping to capture the two suspects. He said it started with a few reports of suspicious activity, but it was a tip about an unusual vehicle that was key. That information led officers directly to the scene of the crime.

"An officer early in the week ended up seeing that vehicle close to a hotel and upon receiving that information acted on it," Rampey said.

Police said that's where they were staying and where all of the stolen mail was found, some dating back to October of 2016. They said they also seized printers, dozens of ID cards, even passports.

"This case is a little problematic and unusual because we have so many victims," Rampey said. "And many of them don't know they are victims."

Police said detectives were working to notify more than 130 known victims in the Greenville area and said there may be additional victims not yet identified.

Many will receive a letter from police that will go out on Monday, it will let residents know their mail has been recovered and list the next steps. Police said that includes monitoring accounts and making changes if there is any unusual activity.

For other information and tips if you're a victim of identity theft, click here.

Lt. Jason Rampey offered a brief overview of this identity theft operation this Facebook video.

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