Mail thief suspect arrested for using stolen financial info to buy things in Colorado and Wyoming

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - A rural Colorado resident was accused of stealing mail and using the financial information to buy items at local businesses around Larimer County and in some southern Wyoming towns.

Investigators identified Harry Edwin Jenkins, 47, of Cowdrey, Colo. as the suspect in a string of mail thefts in the area. Jenkins was arrested Feb. 6, on charges of felony identity theft, forgery and misdemeanor theft. He was released from the Larimer County jail on a $10,000 bond.

Jenkins is accused of using mail he stole to piece together enough identity information to use credit cards and checks to make in-person purchases, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. There were no immediate indications that Jenkins was making online purchases, but that possibility has not been ruled out, the sheriff's office said. Information on what purchases Jenkins was making was not released.

One of the best ways to prevent mail fraud and identity theft is to shred your junk mail. If you don't have a shredder, rip the pieces of mail that have your name and address on them well enough that they can't be reassembled by a thief.

Make sure to shred or rip up any junk mail checks and keep a close eye on your transaction history. Some banks will not return your money from an unauthorized transaction unless it is reported within a certain timeframe.