Thieves literally fishing for mail

Posted at 10:23 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-05 20:52:26-04

In this age of cybercrime, there's a low-tech crime that's catching the attention of police in Stuart, Florida.  Thieves are literally fishing for your mail.

On Google Earth, you can see where the mailboxes used to be, across the street from the U.S. Post Office located off of SE Johnson Avenue.  

However, they have been removed after Stuart police spokesman Brian Bossio said there were 10 reports of thefts from the drop boxes.

"These cases kept coming, and we were able to conclude that someone was going into these boxes and taking mail out," Bossio says.

Bossio adds thieves are using some sort of a fishing device to pull out the mail.

In October last year, investigators found a battery with doubled-sided tape attached to a rope at the bottom of a drop box.

Once criminals have the mail, they'll wash out the checks, write a different name, change the amount and cash the check.

"These people know what they're doing," Bossio says.

"They're thieves," says Sarah Alloway.

"It's a federal offense," adds Peter Murray.

The recommendation is to always go inside the post office when mailing sensitive material.

With nothing but old screws to show where the mail boxes were, you have no choice but to go in.

"Now I have to drive up, park, get up. Get a little exercise," Alloway said with a smile.

WPTV-TV reached out to the postal inspector to find out when and if the mailboxes would be re-installed, but so far they have not released a comment.