ABERDEEN, Md. — Update: Police in Harford County have discovered the drop box bandits also stole renters' checks from the Wakefield Apartments in Bel Air and from the Harford Village North Apartments in Forest Hill on the Fourth of July.
Additional black-and-white surveillance video confirms they are the same two men who struck hours later at two complexes in Aberdeen.
When the office is closed at the Highland Commons Apartments in Aberdeen, you can still pay your rent by dropping your payment off in a drop box, but that recently backfired on Candice Fulks.
"I was called by my landlord, the assistant property manager, and she said, 'Did you happen to pay your rent, Mrs. Fulks?' and I said, 'I paid mine,' and she said, 'We have a problem. It was stolen,'" said Fulks.
Stolen by two men caught on camera as they broke into the box and made off with almost a dozen checks and money orders.
It also happened a few blocks away at the Affinity Old Post Apartments, and police have clear images of the suspects for the public to help identify.
"If you look at the video, someone will recognize these individuals, and we'd like to get to the bottom of the matter immediately,” said Lt. C. William Reiber of the Aberdeen Police Department. “More importantly for those folks who deposited rent checks, just be vigilant, check your account, see if any checks were cashed."
The management at both complexes called more than 300 tenants to notify them of the thefts and have since identified well over a dozen victims.
For Candice Fulks, the theft of her money order is not only a costly inconvenience.
"I keep my receipts. So I have to send out a $15 fee," Fulks said. "You know, it's just complicated. I'm going to have to pay my rent again."
Not to mention the price of now having to fear for her personal safety.
"I'm worried about everything and anything,” Fulks said. “My name, my address, they know where I live. You never know nowadays. I'm really worried about it. It really scares me. I will never put another in the drop box again. I will always hand it to my landlord so I know that my rent is paid right."