Thieves may be stealing your mail from USPS collection boxes

New Haven

NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH) — At the post office in Naugatuck, Betsy Provost got a surprise delivery warning from police about those blue collection boxes.

Naugatuck police said some suspects have gained access to those postal boxes in town. It’s called “mail fishing,” as Naugatuck’s Deputy Police Chief Colin McAllister explained to Betsy.

“They’ve been utilizing a device in order to enter the mail slot and retrieve various mail items,” said Chief McAllister.

Items like cash or checks being sent.

Naugatuck’s Deputy Chief said, “Some of those checks have been altered and fraudulently cashed.”

“I recently went through that a few years ago when somebody took my checks and forged my name, it’s a nightmare and I don’t wish that on anyone,” Betsy said.

Naugatuck’s Deputy Chief said they’re investigating at least four cases right now in Naugatuck alone.

Brian Falcha, the postmaster at the USPS Naugatuck branch, said criminals have hit these blue collection boxes in several Connecticut cities and towns since last fall.

Falcha said, “Bridgeport replaced all their collection boxes. Stamford, Greenwich, recently it just happened in Prospect.”

It’s an expensive problem to fix. Here in Naugatuck each one of these boxes costs about $1,200. The postmaster said it’s worth the cost to keep the public’s trust.

“Definitely worth it,” Falcha said. “Security of the mail is our number one priority.”

News 8 got an exclusive look at the new and improved blue collection boxes that will make it harder for thieves to fish your mail out.

Local police departments and the postal service are working together to try and catch whoever is doing this mail fishing.

In the meantime, they suggest you go inside and drop off your mail. Or, if you use the blue boxes outside, don’t drop off your mail at night.

Betsy gives her stamp of approval that proactive steps are being taken and that authorities are working to get the word out.

“Whoever’s doing it I wish you get caught,” Betsy said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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