VANCOUVER -- A suspect has been charged following an investigation into several mail thefts across Metro Vancouver.

Surrey RCMP say the suspect was taken into custody earlier this month, and has been charged with 17 counts of offences related to mail theft.

Nickolas Kelly, a 30-year-old man from Surrey, has been in police custody since July 7.

Kelly's charges stem from reports of mail thefts in Surrey, Delta, Richmond and North Vancouver.

The investigation first began in Surrey, when a break-and-enter incident was reported to the RCMP on March 24 on 64 Avenue.

A suspect was identified by the RCMP, then allegedly linked to the cases in the other jurisdictions.

To prevent mail and identity theft, the RCMP offer the following tips:

  • Collect mail promptly after delivery.
  • Don't send cash and gift cards in the mail.
  • Ask Canada Post to hold your mail if you'll be away, or ask a neighbour to collect it.
  • Shred any documents containing personal financial information before recycling.

"Unattended mail is a treasure trove of personal information for potential thieves," the RCMP said Monday.