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Checks Totaling Over $56K Stolen and Cashed from East Harlem Mailbox: NYPD

By Dartunorro Clark | October 28, 2016 6:23pm
 Police said scammers sometimes use a sticky substance to
Police said scammers sometimes use a sticky substance to "fish" mail out of boxes, opened the items and cashed checks.
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DNAinfo/Mat Katz

HARLEM — More than $56,000 in checks were stolen from an East Harlem mailbox then altered and cashed, police said. 

A representative from the Center for Urban Community Services, which is located on East 121st Street, placed several checks in a mailbox on East 119th and Lexington Avenue on Sept. 15 only to discover last week that the checks had been altered and cashed.

Earlier this month more than $20,000 had been stolen from several mailboxes, many involving unsuspecting residents mailing rent checks, DNAinfo New York previously reported.

In one case, a 61-year-old East Harlem man mailed 15 checks between Sept. 1 and Sept. 28 at a mailbox on East 116th Street and Third Avenue. Earlier this month, he was notified by his landlord that one of the checks intended for rent was never received, police said.

When the man told his bank, he discovered that the various checks sent from that mailbox location had been altered from the original amounts, totaling $9,261, police said.

Detectives at the local 25th Precinct are investigating the series of thefts as a pattern and have not yet identified a suspect.

A similar string of mailbox thefts occurred on the Upper West Side earlier this year, DNAinfo New York previously reported. In those cases, police said scammers used a sticky substance to "fish" mail out of boxes, opened the items and cashed checks.

Check out the map of the thefts below: