Law enforcement authorities are warning rural residents of an upsurge in identity theft due to stolen mail.
Police say reports of mail being taken from rural mailboxes is on the upswing in the San Joaquin Valley.
Although investigators aren´t sure exactly why ID theft is on the rise in the area, some attribute the surge to Methamphetamine use. A spokesman for the Stanislaus County Sheriff´s Office says it is likely that meth manufacturers are using fraudulently obtained credit cards and fake ids to buy the chemicals needed to make the drug.
Law enforcement officials warn that anyone with a mailbox that doesn´t lock is at risk, especially in rural areas, and should take measures to protect themselves.