How badly did Matthew Hickcox and friends allegedly want meth? Enough to rip a mailbox out of a sidewalk.
That's among the assertions about what prosecutors describe as an identity theft ring -- and two members, including Matthew's brother Robert, remain on the loose at this writing. Photos, details and more below.
The First Judicial District DA's office identifies the accused conspirators as the Hickcox brothers (Robert is 46, Matthew 36), along with Shannon Kramer, 34, Michael Hope, 29, and Justin Kormos, 26.
The five are named in a 38-count indictment that accuses them of having worked together to steal identities in Jefferson County and the Denver metro area from October 1 or last year until the end of this past January.
Their M.O., according to the DA's office, involved stealing info in order to "create fraudulent checks and identification documents," including driver's licenses.
How did they get the info? The indictment charges them with swiping the contents of mailboxes, with their favorites being cluster-type units used in multi-family housing units. And law enforcers say they didn't settle for simply breaking into them.
On one occasion, they supposedly snatched a free-standing cluster mailbox, as well as "an entire mail collection box, which was affixed to a sidewalk in Morrison," a DA's office release states.
The indictment documents $8,900 in losses and fifty victims ranging from individuals to businesses such as Bed Bath & Beyond, King Soopers, Crate and Barrel, Conoco, Walmart, Target, Babies R Us and Macy's.
And how did the quintet allegedly spend the proceeds? On "living expenses and methamphetamine use," the DA's office allows.
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Charges include violation of the Colorado Organized Control Act, plus identity theft, criminal impersonation and more. But thus far, only Kormos, Kramer and Matthew, the reputed ringleader, are in custody; they're due back in court on December 15. Robert and Hope, meanwhile, remain at large.
Here are booking photos for all five.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.