Suspect in north Fulton mail thefts accused in multiple car break-ins

Ian Mateo Smith

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

A felon previously charged with 33 counts of mail theft in north Fulton County is now accused of breaking into numerous cars in the area.

Ian Mateo Smith, 22, of Roswell, faces 12 counts of entering auto in connection with the incidents, Fulton County Jail records show. He is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, theft by deception and financial identity fraud.

Authorities believe Smith found unlocked cars, opened doors and rummaged through vehicles in search of valuables, Channel 2 Action News reported. The majority of the break-ins occurred between Aug. 2 and Aug. 13, jail records show. Additional details about the incidents, the status of the investigation and Smith’s earlier conviction were not available.

Authorities were able to recover some of the stolen items, including several guns, Roswell police spokesman Officer Sean Thompson told AJC.com.

Smith was booked into the Fulton jail Sept. 8 before he was released a week later on a $95,000 bond.

The most recent arrest is one of at least six within the last decade, according to records. He was in the Fulton jail through early July after spending more than a month there on a probation violation.

In 2015, Smith was charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping, robbery and false imprisonment. He was jailed again in 2017 and 2018 on various counts of financial identity fraud, theft by taking and fugitive from justice.

Perhaps most notably, Smith was arrested in 2019 in connection with mail thefts in Milton and Roswell.

ExploreMan faces 33 counts of theft after allegedly stealing mail in Milton, Roswell

Police in both cities received reports of missing mail.

“We got a number of initial reports of people finding mail lying on the ground in neighborhoods and we were able to track that mail to specific victims,” Roswell police spokesman Capt. Charles Barstow said at the time.

He said the case started coming together when Forsyth County sheriff’s deputies reached out and said they pulled over Smith during a traffic stop.

“(They) found a number of mail items in the back seat that didn’t belong to the driver,” Barstow said.

Investigators said Smith drove through neighborhoods at night, opened mailboxes and took the mail. Detectives suspected he was involved in at least 18 mail thefts in Milton and several more in Roswell.

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