Despite the apprehension of two men who allegedly stole mail from U.S. Postal Service mailboxes on Aug. 21, reports of stolen mail and altered checks have continued to pour into the Princeton Police Department.
Police received eight reports of stolen mail and altered checks between Aug. 11 and 20. The reports are under investigation by the Princeton Police Department’s Detective Bureau.
On Aug. 20 – the day before the two men were arrested – police received reports from victims who said they had mailed checks at U.S. Postal Service mailboxes on North Harrison Street and Nassau Street. One victim lost $9,054 and the second victim lost $6,000 when the checks were stolen and altered, they said.
Three victims reported to police on Aug. 18 that they had mailed checks from U.S. Postal Service mailboxes on Nassau Street. One victim lost $7,000 and the second victim lost $1,650 when the checks were stolen and altered, according to reports. The third victim lost $3,200.
On Aug. 17, a victim told police that a check she had mailed was intercepted and cashed by someone else, resulting in a loss of $600.
And on Aug. 11, two victims reported that they had mailed checks at the U.S. Postal Service mailboxes on Palmer Square West. The checks were stolen and then forged for different amounts and cashed, according to reports.
Although it is not known whether the eight reports of stolen and altered checks are connected, the Princeton Police Department arrested two men from The Bronx, New York, after staking out the U.S. Postal Service mailboxes on Palmer Square West.
The men, ages 26 and 27, were charged with theft of identity, receiving stolen property and possession of burglar tools. The 26-year-old man was also charged with hindering apprehension.
During the surveillance operation, a police officer reportedly observed the 26-year-old man walking slowly in the area of the mailboxes. He walked over to the mailboxes and pulled on each door handle, but did not deposit mail in the mailboxes.
The officer stopped him and learned that an accomplice was sitting in a car parked on Palmer Square East, according to reports.
During the investigation, a small plastic bag containing mail that did not belong to either man was recovered. The men also were found to be in possession of tools that were used to fish mail out of the mailboxes, police said.
Since January, police have received more than two dozen reports of checks being stolen from mailboxes around Princeton. The amount of money on the checks and the person or party to whom the checks were made payable were altered, resulting in losses totaling more than $127,000 through Aug. 20, according to police.