Parma police investigates more U.S. Postal mailbox thefts: residents out $119,000

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 8:14 PM EST
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PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - Watch out! There are mail thieves on the prowl all across Northeast Ohio.

Parma police tell 19 News thieves have stolen about $119,000 in checks from U.S. Postal Service mailboxes.

“Basically, what they’re doing is getting into the mailboxes and retrieving utility bills where people pay with their check. So then they go into those, they take out the check, they alter that check for a substantially increased amount, sometimes $100 check into $8,000 made out to another person,” said Lieutenant Daniel Ciryak, Parma Police Department.

He said thieves are using mobile banking apps to cash the checks.

Now Parma Police are encouraging people not to use the blue mailboxes outside of the post office locations and instead to go inside the post office to make the deposit.

“We believe the target are these boxes people can just drive up to,” said Lieutenant Ciryak. ”Some of these boxes aren’t forced open, yet the mail is missing. So we believe someone is going in with a master key,” he said.

Local police are working with the U.S. Postal Inspector to crack down on the thefts, but they want residents to be vigilant.

“We’re asking people to keep an eye on their checking account. We’re finding that some of the banks if it’s not reported quickly enough, some of the people are on the line for that money,” said Lieutenant Ciryak.

Thieves caught stealing mail could be charged with federal crimes and face imprisonment.

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