Postal mailboxes being sealed due to mail theft in Columbus

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A simple task many do without thinking twice – dropping mail in a blue USPS mailbox. Now it may be safer to take your mail inside of the post office.

A crime is happening all over Columbus, from where you may not expect a government mailbox. Criminals are breaking into blue postal boxes in several locations in the Chattahoochee Valley.

“In these cases, we realize that many of them are business owners, and when they go to pay their vendors and things as that like that, they pay them with checks, and they put them in either their business post mailbox or the blue boxes at the post office.”

Thefts from blue postal boxes in Columbus have been happening twice a month since the start of this year. According to SGT Edenfield with the Columbus Police financial crimes department, over 30 businesses have been impacted so far.

“Well these people are doing it illegitimately and so you put $167 check in the blue box at the post office or your mailbox in front of your house to pay something they steal that check they take their account routing number off the bottom of that check and that $167 check turns into $16,000 from your account and routing number so they create a whole new check.”

Millions of dollars are potentially stolen from these blue postal boxes. Sgt. Edenfield says to ensure your checks aren’t being stolen, take them inside of the post office.

“We’ve done some search warrants at houses we found printers, card embosser, blank check paper, things like that, so we took out warrants on some of those guys are in jail. Some we’ve taken out warrants.”

The Columbus Police Department and a federal postal inspector are working together to ensure these criminals are caught.

The theft of US mail is a federal law violation and could result in various fines or imprisonment. You are asked to report your mail to postal inspectors if you believe it has been lost or stolen.

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