SURVEILLANCE: Veteran claims mail was stolen from mailbox at Indian Land home

SURVEILLANCE: Veteran claims mail was stolen from mailbox at Indian Land home
Daren Knight (Alex Giles | WBTV)
Daren Knight (Alex Giles | WBTV)

INDIAN LAND, SC (WBTV) - An Indian Land resident claims bills were stolen from his mailbox and he has the video to back it up.

Daren Knight, a veteran of the United States Air Force, said the incident took place last Friday.

He said his wife contacted him while he was at work to let him know the mail they planned to send was missing, but the flag on the mailbox was still up.

Knight said he and his wife had placed several checks in the mailbox that morning. Some of them were going to be used to pay bills. However, one of the checks was a donation for the South Carolina Sheriff's Association and another was going towards a national fallen heroes fund, according to Knight.

He said he checked the footage from his home surveillance camera and saw a car drive down his street, then return to his home. In the video footage a passenger in the car can be seen opening the Knight family mailbox and taking the mail. The incident happened quickly.

"When I saw the car pull up and pull the mail out I was shocked," said Knight.

He said he immediately contacted the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office and filed a report with a deputy.

Knight said he is lucky his wife checked the mailbox that morning.

"We would not have known about it until we were getting notices from our mortgage company or whomever that our bills had not been paid and we found out we had no money in our checking account because they cleaned our checking account out," said Knight.

He said he and his wife spent hours at the bank and had to change the information for the checking account they had been using for nearly two decades.

Knight said he learned a valuable lesson from the experience - he will be paying his bills online from now on.

"If they see my flag up on the mailbox again, I promise you there will not be another check in that mailbox," said Knight.

Doug Barfield, a spokesperson for the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, said the agency does get reports of mail theft from time to time. However, he noted that there has not been a recent trend of this type of activity.

Stealing mail from a mailbox is a federal crime.

Knight believes the alleged thieves were riding in a newer model Dodge Charger. He hopes his surveillance video leads to an arrest.

"I hope we find the people that did this," Knight said, "and I hope people understand when they do these things how much they are affecting people."

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