Police Searching for Mail Thief in Luzerne County

SUGARLOAF TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Authorities are on the hunt for a mail thief in Luzerne County.

Sugarloaf Township police believe someone is taking mail out of post boxes looking for checks.

Sugarloaf Township's police chief says he first got reports about the mail thefts about a week ago when people came to him saying checks they wrote were cashed for thousands of dollars more than they were originally written for.

At first glance, one check, made out for $4,500, looks like any other. The chief says the check was originally written out for far less.

Sugarloaf Township Police Chief Josh Winters says he's had about four people from the township come to him within the last week saying checks they mailed for their bills had been cashed for more than what they were written for.

He says those checks were stolen from mail drop boxes.

The chief says whoever is stealing the mail is changing who the checks are made out to and how much they are made out for so he or she can cash them.

"It's not hard to wash a check and change the name or the amount or, in this case, both," said Chief Winters.

Winters says some of the victims have had thousands of dollars taken from their accounts.

"It's unfortunate, but you can't even pay your bills nowadays without having that jeopardized, so it's always good to hand deliver your mail inside the post office."

"I don't believe in giving people any breaks for doing things like that. If the police catch them, that's a great thing," said township resident Bill Shellhammer.

This incident reminds many of the card-skimming scam that hit the area earlier this year.

"This area was a very, very good area to live in. I've lived here 40 years. It's changed. It's changed a lot," Shellhammer said.

The chief says that it is always best for you to go inside the post office and hand your bills to a postal worker instead of leaving them in a drop box. He also recommends you check to make sure anything you mailed recently has made it to its destination.

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