Nearly two dozen victims in massive mail theft, identity fraud c - KPTV - FOX 12

Nearly two dozen victims in massive mail theft, identity fraud case in Columbia Co.

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Andrew Lee Jones and Linda Marie Strawn were indicted on dozens of felonies in a massive mail and identity theft case. (KPTV) Andrew Lee Jones and Linda Marie Strawn were indicted on dozens of felonies in a massive mail and identity theft case. (KPTV)
ST. HELENS, OR (KPTV) -

With two people arrested and indicted, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is still looking for a third suspect in a massive case of mail and identity theft that targeted nearly two dozen victims for months.

This week, Andrew Lee Jones and Linda Marie Strawn were indicted on dozens of felonies. Deputies are looking for Jason Edward Johnson. 

Investigators said the trio stole property and mail from all over Columbia County and into Portland. The thefts occurred from January through late May.

St. Helen’s resident Melvin Olson said buildings on his property were broken into multiple times, as well as letters stolen from his mailbox. 

“When you come home and find your stuff is gone, you pretty much feel violated,” Olson said, adding that seven social security cards were stolen from a file cabinet as well as birth certificates and property deeds. 

Along with important documents, he said thieves also took sentimental items that can’t be replaced. 

“The thing that I hate losing more than anything is some antique toys I had,” Olson said. 

Another victim in Scappoose said her son’s important medications were among items taken from her mailbox. 

“This wasn’t a small thing,” Lynette Williams said, “They knew what they were doing, they were watching us.”

She said she didn’t think she’d ever get her stuff back and was surprised when a deputy showed up at her door a couple weeks ago. 

“He said, ‘We caught the guys,' and showed the pictures of our stuff,” Williams said. “I was just floored, I just thought ‘Yay! Somebody got caught for once in my lifetime.’ I’m proud of our sheriff. It just thrilled my heart - renewed my faith in America.”

Both Olson and Williams said they’ll now go to greater measures to protect their property and mailboxes. Williams is thinking about getting a lockbox for mail and Olson has added a hacksaw blade to the bottom opening of his mailbox slot. 

Anyone with information on Johnson’s whereabouts is asked to call the Columbia County Sheriff.

Olson is hoping to get a stolen antique toy back. He said his father’s model Hyster Straddle Carrier was purchased in the 1940s and was still in the original box. The toy is described as about three inches wide and six to eight inches long. It is made out of metal.

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