LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Residents in one Lufkin community feel it's only a matter of time before their identity is stolen. That's because for the past week they say someone has been stealing their mail.
"Why? Why would you take my mail," said Heather Apple.
It's a question gone unanswered tonight for Heather Apple and her boyfriend Cartavius.
"About Tuesday of last week, I came out to check the mail and we didn't have any, so I just figured it's just one of those days," Apple said.
But after three more days and still no mail, instincts told them something wasn't right. That's when Apple took a closer look at her mailbox.
"I started noticing there were little knicks at the door like somebody had been trying to pop the door open," Apple said.
Shocked, confused and wondering just who would do such a thing, she contacted police immediately. And to make matters worse…it's tax season.
"He still has to receive his W-2 and I'm waiting on my check because I've already filed my taxes. It's just kind of like 'Did somebody break in when his W-2's were here? What did they take," Apple said.
And it's a crime that police say increases this time of year as crooks look to capitalize off of your year's worth of hard work.
"It became a nightmare. I needed that money because I have to be able to buy clothes and diapers," Apple said.
But financial advisers we spoke to say there are certain measures you can take to ensure your money makes it into your hands.
First: if possible, access your W-2 online versus using the paper option. That way you control who sees your information.
And secondly: file quickly. Experts say the longer you wait, the more opportunity you've given criminals to get your tax refund.