Updated: 02/10/2014 10:11 PM
Created: 02/10/2014 9:56 PM KSTP.com
By: Leslie Dyste
Two St. Paul men are facing charges after mail was stolen from dozens of mailboxes around the metro and western Wisconsin this year.
On Monday, 25-year-old Runger Vang and 26-year-old Chao Moua were both charged with one count of identity theft in the monthlong spree.
Earlier this month, a tip caller saw our newscast and called police when they recognized a maroon SUV in their St. Paul neighborhood. Police responded and pulled the Toyota RAV4 over.
According to Lt. Lorne Rosand with the Roseville Police Department, officers noticed a large quantity of mail in the backseat of the vehicle.
A notebook in the vehicle contained handwritten names, addresses and social security numbers belonging to 11 different people. Police say property was stolen from hundreds of Minnesotans.
An investigation by the Woodbury Police Department revealed the men had used some of the stolen credit cards and had cashed stolen checks, including one totaling $1,800.
According to the criminal complaint, Vang told a Roseville police detective that he concentrated on the suburbs because he "had more success in those areas." Moua admitted to trying to file a tax return for one of the victims, to get the refund.
The U.S. Postal Service plans to return the stolen mail to the original addresses this week. They will also include a notice of what to do if a homeowner believes they have been a victim of mail theft.
Investigators say this is a dangerous time of year for mail theft because your tax information could be sitting in your mailbox.