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Caught on tape: Neighbors help catch mail thief

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Updated: 10/05/2012 1:31 am Published: 10/04/2012 9:18 am

A woman roaming neighborhoods stealing mail is caught on camera by two neighbors.

Police said they discovered mail from all around Tulsa.

However, Jennifer Steffen, 28, was caught on camera in South Tulsa where is where police said she stole her mail from a dozen mailboxes along 61st Street and Peoria and Lewis.  

Video from a neighbor’s camera caught a woman casually pulling mail out of mailboxes.

"See her look around a little bit to see if anyone is looking,” said Financial Crimes
Detective Darin Shipley.

Her pink hair didn’t do much for a disguise.

"She is going to make it look like she lives there,” said Shipley.

The neighbor across the street knows Steffen doesn’t live there so he recorded her through the blinds.

Across the street the neighbor also caught her on camera on a his home surveillance system. 

The home recording caught Steffen hiding behind the bushes sifting through mail she didn’t want.

"It is a federal offense. You just don't do that,” said the homeowner with the home surveillance system.

He didn’t want to be identified but he is glad he and his neighbor were able to help police piece it all together.

"That pretty much put the nail in the coffin,” said the neighbor.

When police cuffed Steffen she said she was working alone but they found mail belonging to at least 12 people and some were stolen from cars.

"She also claimed to be on foot and there were pieces of mail from all sides of town,” said Shipley.

They found gift cards, debit cards, temporary checks and checks.

One was a $100 check to a brother-in-law.

“The first thing you think about is the identity theft. That can ruin your life," said a victim named Donna.

She too didn’t want to release her full identity.

Donna said her husband saw Steffen that morning.

"He thought she was a student going to school,” said Donna.

Neighbors putting two and two together with some help from high tech equipment.

"I am really, really, really thankful there are people watching out,” said Donna.

Financial Crimes Unit detectives said they don’t see mail thieves washing checks as much as thieves counterfeiting the routing number and your personal information.

Police said they are also stealing receipts to steal an item on that receipt and returning it to get the money back.

The Gateway Foundation offers free shredding at PaperChase in Broken Arrow from 8am-4pm at 116 W. Commercial St.

Detectives also recommend you don’t leave the red flag up for outgoing mail overnight, get a lock for your mailbox or drop off any outgoing mail at the post office.

Original headline: Woman accused of stealing mail from more than a dozen homes

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

swingnerd - 10/5/2012 7:33 PM
0 Votes
And they say we have too many "non-violent" offenders behind bars. Quality of life crimes eat away at our civic vitality and trust in our fellow humans ... these criminal parasites that walk among us must be removed.

Mayor Maynot - 10/5/2012 12:26 PM
0 Votes
Stupid as mud.

dukshanee - 10/5/2012 6:35 AM
1 Vote
freaking meth/bath salt zombies are taking over!! had one banging on my door at 130am, damn near shot that crazy!!!

aleman - 10/4/2012 4:25 PM
1 Vote
Damned meth zombie already spent her gov't nut check on the go juice

t town253 - 10/4/2012 1:57 PM
1 Vote
Get a job lady....preferrably not at the post office.
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