Thieves stealing rent from drop boxes at apartment complexes

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- Managers say thieves have been targeting rent drop boxes forcing them to take extra security measures to keep residents money and identities safe.

Laura Ratcliff, Property Manager at Creekmore Apartments in Denison, says last month someone stole several rent checks from their drop box.

"Another manager from another apartment complex called me and she told me that she had found some of my tenants checks made out to Creekmore in her parking lot," Ratcliff said.

Fortunately, Ratcliff says none of the resident's checks were cashed.
She says once they realized someone had stolen from their drop box, which used to sit near the ground, they immediately moved it four feet above the floor.

"We have put it up in the wall now with a sheet metal on the inside," Ratcliff said. "So no one can get in there."

Ratcliff says they have also added a security guard. Residents we spoke with say they are glad their complex is being proactive, but say they are outraged at the thieves who are out to steal people's earnings.

"This is my rent money," resident Jacqueline Mullenix said. "It makes you angry if you lose your money."

"It's very horrible, I mean it's hard earned money for people. Some people do a couple of jobs to get this check," resident Simon Islam said.

Another apartment complex, located in Sherman, recently sent a letter to its residents informing them thieves had hit up their drop box. Now residents can only drop off their rent during office hours or mail it.

Lt. Ken Brooks, with Sherman Police, says personally delivering your rent to the office is the safest choice.

"Self protection is always a little inconvenient, but in the long run it pays off," Brooks said.

Brooks says your check can be cashed even by someone its not addressed to. He also adds its wise to limit the personal information on your check so your identity cannot be stolen.

"A lot of people have their whole name on the check and they'll have their address, and their date of birth, their telephone number and maybe even their drivers license number," Brooks said.

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