VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – There is relief in Virginia Beach’s Kempsville area, because police say a woman who is accused of stealing from mailboxes is behind bars.
Officers arrested 37-year-old Suzanne Byles, of the 5500 block of Covenant Court, Thursday night. She’s charged with forgery and identity theft.
“I feel relief,” said Virginia Beach resident Barbara Creekmore. “I think that’s probably the main thing is relief. You feel a little a safer tonight knowing that this person has been apprehended.”
Police said Byles was stealing mail out of mailboxes to find personal checks that she could cash.
“It was my hard earned money that I worked for to pay my bills,” said Creekmore. “I was out that money, and I’m sure a lot of other people were too.”
Creekmore was one of more than a dozen victims who reported the crime.
“I cannot forgive her,” said Creekmore. “I think she needs to think long and hard about what she did.”
Detectives say Byles lived in the same neighborhood as many of her victims.
“You’d see her also walking by pretty quickly,” said resident David Beyrodt. “She was always on the phone walking back and forth. [It] was kind of odd and unusual.”
Police won’t say how they connected her to crime, but they do believe there could be many unsuspecting victims out there.
Detectives recommend not putting checks in their mailbox for pickup, but to actually drop them off at post offices. Additionally, they say residents should retrieve mail from boxes as soon as practical upon delivery. If residents are going out of town, detectives say you should have someone pick up your mail or have it left at a post office for pickup.