As Mail Thefts Soar Nationwide, Arrests Continue To Drop

By Bill Galluccio

October 10, 2022

Open mailbox with letters on rural backgound.
Photo: Getty Images

A report from the Dayton Daily News warns that criminals are increasingly targeting public mailboxes to steal checks and resell them online. Frank Albergo, national president of the postal police officers association, told the paper that there has been a 17-fold increase in stolen checks being sold online.

The Daily News reported that numerous checks had been stolen from seven different post office mailboxes around Dayton and the surrounding suburbs. In one case, over $75,000 worth of checks were fraudulently cashed.

David Maimon, director of the Evidence-Based Cyber Security Research Group at Georgia State University, told the outlet that he started noticing a spike in stolen checks being sold online in August 2021.

"And since then, things have exploded even more dramatically. Instead of seeing an average of 114 checks a week, now we are seeing 2,000 checks a week across the country," he said.

Albergo said that officials are having a hard time cracking down on the problem on the problem due to a 2020 change in federal policy that makes it more difficult to arrest suspects. Since the change, arrests have plummeted from 2,000 in 2019 to just 1,200 in 2022.

Last week, dozens of people in California were arrested as part of a $5 million mail theft scheme.

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