FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Two people were arrested Tuesday for stealing mail from mailboxes in a Port St. Lucie retirement community.
St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara and Chief Deputy Brian Hester announced the arrests Thursday.
Sheryl Lynn Snyder, 33, of Vero Beach, and Emmett Chamberlain Dacey, 31, of Fort Pierce, were arrested after residents of the Spanish Lakes retirement community called 911 to report a vehicle driving down their street with a man walking in front of it collecting the contents of mailboxes that had the red flag raised for mail collection.
Hester warned residents about mail theft occurring in the area in May.
Snyder is being held on a $72,750 bond and Dacey is being held on a $10,750 bond. Hester said Snyder was found in possession of a trafficking amount of fentanyl, drug paraphernalia, and other drugs. She also provided a false name and was wanted in Martin County on two charges.
Hester said both suspects were unemployed and had extensive criminal histories.
"I can tell you this, they are not discretionary on what they take," Hester said. "If the red flag is up, they're grabbing everything in there. When they get back to wherever they're going to go through it, they're gonna discard what's no good to them and they're gonna keep what they feel like they could steal an identity or whatever they can do with."
Hester said the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office has tied the suspects to two mail thefts that occurred last month.
Due to the nature of the crime, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office believes there may be additional victims.
They encourage anyone who has been the victim of mail theft to contact the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office or Treasure Coast CrimeStoppers at 800-273-TIPS if they have witnessed either suspect or the suspect vehicle in their neighborhood, whether in person or on security camera footage.
When deputies searched the suspects' belongings, they discovered a handicapped parking placard that had been reported stolen from a vehicle the previous night.
Deputies said there are several proactive steps you can take to protect yourself from mail theft:
- Check your mailbox daily.
- Pay bills through online banking.
- Never send cash through the mail. Use a money-wiring service or banking app instead.
- Use a secure mail center for sensitive outgoing mail (take checks you are mailing to the post office).
- Put a hold on all mail and newspaper deliveries when traveling out of town.
- Sign up for Informed Delivery at www.usps.com
- Regularly review your bank and credit card statements for unauthorized charges and report discrepancies immediately.