Woman accused of stealing mail from Daytona neighbors



VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Police said residents in south Daytona have been complaining about missing mail since January.

A resident who lives near Bellville Road and Ridgewood Avenue called police Sunday after seeing Lori Ann Souza opening people's mailboxes, authorities said.

Police said when they arrested Souza, they found mail in her purse that wasn't hers from all over the county, and believe dozens of people might not even know their mail has been tampered with and information could have been stolen.

Authorities believe every single person on the street could have been a victim of Souza. Police said they just need people to come forward so they can build a case against her.

A home surveillance video caught the serial mail thief, who has been going mailbox to mailbox, dressed in disguise, stealing letters and money. Residents said it has been going on for weeks.

"Up and down, and the culs-de-sac for over a mile," resident Carol Parnell said. 'Twice a week sometimes."

Souza lives a block away from where the thefts occurred. Neighbors said she would often leave mailboxes open and sometimes leave strange notes.

"It would say something like 'Please return to South Daytona Beach, Florida,' and there was nothing in the letters," resident Cheryl Dandurand said.

So far, police said they've identified at least three victims who've had their mail and information stolen, but haven't been able to pin Souza to the crimes and have only been able to charge her with loitering.

Police said U.S. postal inspectors will not investigate until police have at least 50 victims or $50,000 in fraud.

Channel 9 went by the suspect's house Thursday night to try to get her side of the story, but she wasn't home.