Bloomfield Twp. Police: Don't Trust Your Mailbox
Authorities warn residents not to use home mailboxes after two residents were bilked of thousands of dollars in check scheme.
The Bloomfield Township Police Department on Thursday warned residents not to use their mailboxes for outgoing mail due to several reports of fraud stemming from stolen checks and bills.
"(The department) strongly encourage residents not to place any outgoing mail in their home mailboxes due to a rash of recent thefts of mail," read a statement included with the department's weekly media summary.
The warning followed two separate investigations last week where residents reported their personal checks were stolen and altered.
Police reports show a resident in the 5600 block of Roundhill Drive told police that several outgoing checks were stolen from his mailbox and used to withdraw more than $28,000 from his account. The checks were altered and cashed at various banks in the Metro Detroit area. Police said a suspect was recently arrested for a similar crime in a neighboring city and remains in custody. Further details were not immediately available. Charges in the local case are pending.
The victim's bank reimbursed him for his loss, a police report said.
A resident in the 1500 block of Sodon Lake also reported an outgoing check was taken from the mailbox and changed before it was cashed at an area bank, reports said. The altered check was cashed for more than $7,000. No suspect information was available and it is unclear if the same individual is suspected in both crimes, but the incident remains under investigation.
The victim's bank also reimbursed them for the loss, a police report said.
It is unclear when the thefts occurred but both incidents were reported a short time apart last week.
However, the incidents are not isolated.
In March, a resident in the 500 block of Overbrook reported that several checks she wrote for bill payments and mailed from her home never made it to their destination. She later discovered they were altered and used to withdraw an undisclosed amount of money from her account.
A resident in the 400 block of Steeple Chase Court reported in December that fraudulent charges were made with her credit card information after she suspects her mail was stolen. The Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety investigated a claim of mail tampering outside a home on Barbara Lane in July and turned over its findings to a the U.S. Postal Inspector in Detroit.