A man and a woman were arrested last week in Granite Bay, accused of stealing the identities of at least 39 victims, Placer County Sheriff’s Office officials said Saturday in a news release.
Toni Tinay, 23, of Pittsburg and 36-year-old Matthew Core, of Vallejo, were stopped at the intersection of Sierra College and Douglas boulevards, near Safeway, by sheriff’s deputies who noted their vehicle as suspicious, according to the news release.
With Tinay having warrants in two Bay Area counties, deputies searched the vehicle. The car contained checks, credit cards and USPS master keys — all stolen, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Sorting through the stolen checks and credit cards, officials determined there were 39 victims of identity theft.
Core and Tinay were also in possession of illegal drugs and a credit card re-encoder. According to the sheriff’s officials, this is a device that can transfer credit card information from a legitimate card onto the magnetic strip of a different card.
An internet search shows that a re-encoder can cost anywhere from $20 to $200, depending on the quality and purpose of the device.
USPS master, or “arrow,” keys allow access to things like apartment lobbies, communal mailboxes and more. Federal law states that unlawful possession of a USPS arrow key can carry punishment of up to 10 years in prison.
Core and Tinay were arrested on suspicion of identity theft, with bail set at $375,000 and $160,000, respectively.
Comments: This is very alarming that USPS master keys or “arrow” keys that can open access to apartment lobbies and communal mailboxes were stolen. What are the key control protocols the USPS uses and what failed to allow these master keys to be stolen? USPS might be the largest master key holder in the U.S. and proper security of these master keys is paramount. If you know how USPS master or “arrow” keys are secured, please email me at [email protected].