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Identity Thieves Target Letters And Packages, Post Office Wants Victims To Come Forward

CHICAGO (CBS) --  Thieves are targeting your mail, moving quickly to steal bills, letters and anything else they can get their hands on.

CBS 2's Jeremy Ross met someone who witnessed the crooks at work.

Neigbhors in the area of 80th and Troy received notices about the crimes, one taking place around 10:30 in the morning. It's all part of an investigation of who is targeting postal vehicles.

A delivery turned into a crime scene about two weeks ago. A postal employee was on her route when neighbor Omokhogie Usmanaliu tried to deliver bad news to her.

"I was trying to get the mail lady's attention," Usmanaliu said.

Julie Kenney of the Postal Inspection Service said since July 1 through August 3, at least 14 delivery vehicles were hit, including one witnessed on 80th and Troy. The smash and grabs spanning blocks in Ashburn, Englewood, Ogden Park and Roseland. The thieves making off with both packages and letters.

Some stolen mail could also lead to  identity theft.

"We're letting the public know that if they have been waiting for a check or credit card, they call the call the postal inspection service if they did not receive it," Kenney said.

A handful of deliveries are turning into break-in investigations.

"I hear about it in movies until you actually experience it, you're like 'wow this is real,'" said Usmanaliu.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

If a postal customer within those listed neighborhoods was expecting checks or credit cards in the mail and did not receive them, contact the postal inspection service at 1-877-876-2455.

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