GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – A grand jury has indicted five people in an identity theft ring that authorities say involved breaking into mailboxes in Jefferson County and the Denver metro area.
According to Pam Russell with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, the crimes occurred between October 2013 and January 2014.
“According to the indictment, the five-member enterprise obtained personal and financial information of real persons and used that information to create fraudulent checks and identification documents,” Russell said in a statement. “Using computers and the stolen information, members of the enterprise created fraudulent documents, including drivers licenses, checks and identification documents.”
The members of the rings would the allegedly use the fraudulent checks to “obtain cash, merchandise, property and services.” The group apparently used the money for living expenses and their methamphetamine use.
“Most of the personal and financial information stolen by the enterprise was obtained from breaking into mailboxes, most often the cluster-type mailboxes used in multi-family housing units or neighborhoods,” Russell said.
The suspects are also believed to be responsible for taking an entire blue mail collection box from a sidewalk in Morrison, as well as a free-standing, cluster mailbox.
The following people have been indicted:
– Matthew Hickcox, 36
– Robert Hickcox, 46
– Michael Hope, 29
– Justin Kormos, 26
– Shannon Kramer, 34
The group is accused of violation of the Colorado Organized Control Act (COCCA), theft, identity theft, conspiracy to commit identity theft, criminal impersonation and possession of identity theft tools.
Matthew Hickcox is believed to be the ring leader.
Both individuals and businesses are among the victims.
“The indictment of the five individuals in this ID theft ring serves as a reminder that the most common method used to acquire personal and financial information by would-be ID thieves is through the theft of mail from mailboxes,” said District Attorney Pete Weir. “We urge consumers to protect the information they transmit through the US Postal Service. When mailing personal or financial information, take the documents to the post office.”