DENVER (CBS4)- Police in Denver are searching for more mail theft suspects after one suspect was arrested.

Michael Shaw, 31, was arrested in Longmont on Wednesday. He is accused of breaking into two community mailboxes in apartment complexes.

michael shaw Mail Theft Remains Big Problem In Denver Metro Area

Michael Shaw (credit: Denver Police Dept.)

Detectives believe mail theft suspects are after personal information, primarily account numbers. They also believe there’s a much larger mail theft operation at work in the Denver metro area.

“It appears this group has been active for the last seven to eight months,” said U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokesman Rich Sheehan.

Sheehan said they’re looking for a man and a woman who work together. The pair hits a residential street, finds outgoing mail and grabs it.

“Anything people can use that they think they can get a quick buck out of, they’re going to try and take advantage of,” said Sheehan. “So when they find checks, they’ll try and find the account information and take that and put it into a program where they can create their own checks and use that to pass off as their own.”

Sheehan believes they’re responsible for at least two dozen hits, most of them in Arvada.

“We’re in the dollar loss range of over $100,000, so it’s pretty substantial,” said Sheehan.

The scammers have stretched to Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico and California.

“We definitely have had senior citizens as victims. I’m not sure why they were specifically targeted, but they were able to be victimized, so it’s definitely a concern,” said Sheehan.

Postal inspectors are asking for the public’s help in finding the mail theft suspects. There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Postal inspectors urge people mailing checks to pay bills to drop off those outgoing payments at a post office box, instead of putting them in your personal mailbox.

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