Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough deputies seek Grinch who stole Riverview mail

RIVERVIEW — That wasn't Santa knocking on doors in several Hillsborough neighborhoods Christmas morning. Sheriff's deputies were undoing the work of a mail Grinch.

Hundreds of pieces of mail were stolen from mailboxes either late Monday or early Christmas morning at three Riverview-area subdivisions and elsewhere, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office said. Some of the mail, including Christmas cards, was opened.

The mail for at least 100 area residents, from personal letters to Christmas cards and junk mail, was dumped on area streets and lawns, deputies said. Deputies received the first call about discarded mail at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

In one case, mail from one home was stuffed into a neighbor's mailbox. In other cases, mail from one subdivision was dumped on the ground in a different subdivision, deputies said.

Investigators aren't sure if a thief or thieves kept anything or what their motive might be. They have not yet ruled out the possibility that it was a mean holiday prank.

"We don't know if it was some stupid kid or someone with an ulterior motive," such as identity theft, said Deputy Marc Wilder.

Deputies tried to return mail to homes in the area. What they were unable to deliver was left to postal officials, who also will be investigating.

"I got to play postman this morning," Wilder said.

Wilder said the Sheriff's Office is hoping somebody may have caught the theft on a home surveillance system and asks anyone with information to contact the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.

Deputies believe a car was involved because the mail was scattered over a wide area.

The neighborhoods involved included Rivercrest, Boyette Farms and Summerfield. Mail also was stolen along portions of Tucker Road.

Eight mailboxes were knocked over on Lincoln Road, but deputies are unsure whether this was related to the mail theft.

So far, no one has reported the theft of money or checks in cards, though deputies said it may take a few days for some to verify.

"Our biggest concern is identity theft," Wilder said. "People have their lives in their mailboxes."

Ed Seijo, who lives on S Stone Lane in Boyette Farms, said none of his mail was stolen. But then he paused.

"Come to think of it, we didn't get any mail at all" on Monday, he said. "That's really unusual. We usually get something."

Pat Mobley, 76, who lives on Tucker Road, said she got her mail soon after its delivery Monday. So none of her mail was stolen.

"I can't imagine anyone wanting to steal my mail," she said. "I get my Social Security check once a month. The rest of my mail is junk."

Hillsborough deputies seek Grinch who stole Riverview mail 12/25/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 9:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
 file photo]

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended


    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Harford County, Md., Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler shows a picture of Radee Labeeb Prince, the suspect in the workplace shootings.
  4. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  5. The two Ricks tangle at what may be final debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — In what was likely the last mayoral forum before the Nov. 7 election, Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker started out small, discussing neighborhood issues like recycling and neighborhood funding. They ended tangling over familiar subjects: the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, sewage …

    Ex-Mayor Rick Baker, left, and Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, debated familiar topics. The Times’ Adam Smith moderated.