After a three-month investigation, two Willingboro men have been charged in connection with alleged mail thefts from United States Postal Service mailboxes outside of the Circle Branch Post Office and Lawrenceville Post Office, according to the Lawrence Township Police Department.
The Circle Branch Post Office is located on Brunswick Pike and the Lawrenceville Post Office is on Main Street at Craven Lane.
The men, ages 21 and 22, were apprehended Sept. 5 after an alleged burglary at the Lawrenceville Post Office.
The 22-year-old man was charged with six counts of burglary, six counts of theft, possession of burglary tools, trafficking in identifying information of another person, multiple accounts of receiving stolen property, forgery and resisting arrest, police said.
The 21-year-old man was charged as an accomplice to the Sept. 5 burglary to the mailbox at the Lawrenceville Post Office. He was also charged with resisting arrest and with assorted motor vehicle violations, police said.
The two men were taken to the Mercer County Correction Center, police said.
Lawrence police detectives and agents from the U.S. Postal Inspections Service were conducting surveillance in the area of the Lawrenceville Post Office around 10 p.m. Sept. 5 when they saw the 22-year-old man allegedly approach the outside mailbox and open it with a key, police said.
An officer also saw a car parked on Craven Lane next to the post office. As officers approached the 22-year-old man at the mailbox, he allegedly fled on foot, police said. He was apprehended a short time later.
The 21-year-old man (who was in the parked car on Craven Lane) allegedly fled the scene in the car and headed southbound on Lawrence Road/Route 206, police said. The car crashed at the intersection of Lawrence Road/Route 206 and Franklin Corner Road, and the man was apprehended at the scene of the crash, police said. There were no injuries.
An investigation into the mail thefts was launched in June by the Lawrence Township Police Department and the U.S. Postal Service Inspection Services after victims began reporting incidents of check theft and fraud to the police department.
In all cases, victims reported that they had placed their checks in the outside mailboxes at the Circle Branch and Lawrenceville post offices. In response to the reports of mail theft, police began patrolling the areas near the two post offices.
In one incident on June 27 at about 1 a.m., a police officer who was patrolling the area near the Circle Branch Post Office noticed a BMW sedan parked close to the outside mailbox, police said. The officer approached the car, but [the driver allegedly] sped off at a high rate of speed, police said.
Police located the car a short time later. After receiving a search warrant, police recovered multiple stolen checks, forged checks, forgery devices and several stolen credit cards from the car, according to police.
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call Lawrence Township Detective Sean Kerins at 609-844-7121.