Feb. 25--ELK RIVER -- The suspect in a massive mail theft case that was discovered during a January traffic stop in Waite Park has been charged in Sherburne County with identity theft.
Reece Elliot Murphy, 24, has not been charged yet with stealing any of the mail that was found in the vehicle he was driving during a Jan. 21 traffic stop in Waite Park. But a court complaint filed in Sherburne County accuses him of charging more than $1,700 to a credit card that was taken from a mailbox in Clear Lake Township.
Waite Park found a large amount of U.S. mail taken from mailboxes around the three-county area during a Jan. 21 traffic stop. Murphy was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, and the mail was found after a search of the vehicle.
Most of the postmarks on the mail found in his vehicle are from Jan. 14-20, although some goes back to December. The charges Murphy faces in Sherburne County indicate that Murphy was caught stealing more mail and property Feb. 18, after he had been released following his DWI arrest in Waite Park.
He was arrested in Clear Lake after a caller told sheriff's officials about a suspicious person near a business in town. Murphy ran from deputies when they confronted him.
Deputies chased him and caught him. Deputies found a Visa debit card on the trail where Murphy ran. The person to whom it belonged told deputies that he had mail taken from his mailbox.
Deputies found several items inside a duffel bag at the arrest scene that were stolen from various places, according to the complaint. And Murphy had in his possession checks and other mail that had been taken from the Palmer area, the complaint said.
Investigators linked Murphy to purchases made with two stolen credit cards for merchandise worth more than $1,800, according to the complaint.
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