West University police said Thursday (May 20) that they’re working with federal postal inspectors to investigate five cases this month of “mailbox fishing” — nighttime theft of checks from blue mail drop boxes operated by the U.S. Postal Service.
Targets are the outdoor collection boxes in the 5200 block of Wakeforest Avenue and the 5300 block of Academy — both outside USPS facilities.
Authorities say that some of the criminals “are just desperate for quick cash,” but that organized rings are after personal and financial information that can aid them in stealing identities or committing credit card, medical or other types of fraud. To avoid becoming a victim, police suggest that you:
- Drop mail containing checks directly at the post office or hand it directly to your mail carrier;
- Consider using methods other than mail to transfer money;
- Use a pen with pigmented ink that cannot be erased;
- If using one of the blue USPS collection boxes, deposit the mail as close to the scheduled pick-up time as possible;
- If you see any suspicious activity around mailboxes, call the police immediately.