Two men charged with theft, mail fraud

March 29, 1995|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

Two Hyattsville men were arrested late Monday after a special surveillance unit saw two people stealing mail from a residential mailbox in Forest Hill, said Sgt. Edward Hopkins, a sheriff's spokesman.

Harford County sheriff's deputies, U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Service authorities, who were part of the surveillance unit, believe that the men are part of a sophisticated nationwide mail and credit card fraud ring, Sergeant Hopkins said.

The suspects are being held at the Harford County Detention Center on $250,000 bond each, he said. Adebola A. Adesanya, 29, also known as Gbenga Adesanya, of the 6900 block of Randolph St. and Emmanuel Abiodun Odunlami, 32, of the 3400 block of 55th Ave. were charged with three counts of theft and mail fraud, the sergeant said.

The surveillance was set up after three Harford County residents, one from Sandy Hook Road near Street and two from Gibson Road in Forest Hill, complained of mail tampering about two weeks ago, Sergeant Hopkins said.

One victim gave deputies a description of a vehicle with Virginia license plates and also provided the time of day when two men would drive to his mailbox and remove mail, the sergeant said. "The victim said that soon after, the men returned and replaced his mail," he said.

Sergeant Hopkins said that information obtained from letters in a victim's mailbox, for example, could be used to apply for credit cards in the victim's name.

The sergeant said the suspects are accused of returning to intercept fraudulently obtained credit cards after the cards were mailed to the unwitting victim's address.

They allegedly obtained credit cards in the names of at least three Harford residents, Sergeant Hopkins said.

He said the cards were used to purchase merchandise or for cash advances totaling $2,000.

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