More Reports of Mail Stolen After Being Dropped Off Outdoors at Post Office

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Mailing checks from the outdoor mailbox at Darien Post Office got expensive for several more people over the past two weeks — a total of almost $18,000 was stolen when the checks were altered and cashed, police said.

Darien police received four more complaints of mail stolen after it was put in the mailbox outside the Post Office on Corbin Drive, downtown. Several thefts of checks mailed from the same box have been reported to police, starting in October.

A total of $17,938.86 was stolen. Police gave these further details for each theft:

— A check to Aquarion for $100 was altered to $998.33.  It was mailed in the afternoon on Sunday, Jan. 13.

— a check to Costco for $3,686.87 was altered to a lesser amount — $2,200.80. A check to Eversource for $213.53 was altered to $4,750.70. Both were mailed by a woman on Jan. 13. The victim found out about the fraud when she called her bank to find out the status of her checks.

— A woman mailed a check from the mailbox on Jan. 13 or 14. She was later notified by her bank that her account had been flagged for fraudulent activity. A check she originally had written out to a person had been altered to $5,000 and deposited.

— A check to Optimum for $233.32 was altered to $4,989.03. It was put in the mailbox at about 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day). Later, the woman who mailed it was notified by her bank that fraudulent activity was suspected.

On Jan. 24, Darien police issued a statement about the thefts from the Post Office mailbox and other mailboxes in town. The statement said in part:

Other towns in Fairfield County are experiencing instances of mail theft in a similar manner. The Darien police are working with our local post offices in an effort to have depositories upgraded to theft deterrent models seen elsewhere. […]

“[W]e urge anyone mailing anything of value, … [including] checks, to take steps to safeguard their outgoing mail. In addition to valuables, personal and identifying information may be harvested from the stolen mail.”

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