Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer (D-Glendale) joined the police in unveiling new legislation designed to combat a dangerous new trend in identity theft Wednesday morning at the Glendale Police Station.
With protections increasing against criminals who steal credit card numbers or tamper with ATM machines, identity thieves are now turning more frequently to raiding residents' trash cans and mailboxes to obtain personal information. In turn, this information is often trafficked to other criminals for money. California had 45,175 reported victims of identity theft in 2005, ranking third in the nation in this growing crime trend.
Mail theft, the prevalence of which has more than doubled since 2000, can only be investigated under federal jurisdiction - United States Postal Inspection Service - under current statute. Local law enforcement cannot help prosecute these criminals. Meanwhile, the postal service is overwhelmed with higher priority organized theft rings and unable to help individuals who are violated.