A warning issued by Spring Hill Police which as they are on the lookout for a group of thieves traveling the interstate stealing mail.
The thieves may be long gone, but not before cashing local checks worth tens of thousands of dollars.
According to Spring Hill investigators, the mailbox bandits hit fast and furious starting in early July.
The bandits stole mail from residential boxes. Police say they even fished a check or two out of the main postal box at the main post office.
“One of the victims reports he dropped off several checks at that box, not sure how they gained access, but he was pretty sure that is where he dropped the checks off,” said Det. Mike Foster.
According to investigators, the crew is believed to be comprised of Cuban nationals from south Florida. The gang travels the interstate hitting towns quickly, then moving on.
According to detectives, the bad guys would wash a check written for a low dollar amount, penciling in a new amount sometimes well over $5,000.
The crooks used fake names, fake ID’s and cashed the checks out of state to keep police off balance.
“We haven’t seen this type of forgery in a while. Usually organized criminals will stick to gift card scams or online scams, but it is making a comeback. The check will be written to the electric company or whomever in the amount of a hundred dollars or so and the suspects will come along and make it out for a thousand dollars or more, and make it out to a fake person,” said Det. Foster.
In the end, the bad guys are thousands richer, while citizens and banks are left filing police reports that are tough cases to solve.
“So it’s a numbers game and they come through and get four or five checks, write them for large amounts, and before anyone knows what is going on, the victim is out the money, and they have to file with the bank saying they didn’t do this, and hopefully the bank refunds them the money and the bank is out the money in the end.”
According to Franklin police, their agency is also working a similar crime in late June where mail was stolen from the post office box at five points.
“Franklin police received three reports of missing mail that were possibly stolen from an outdoor post box drop-off located at 510 Columbia Ave, (post office) sometime during late June. The missing mail included checks which were ultimately altered and cashed in various states. Our detectives forwarded the reports to United States postal inspectors, as mail theft falls under their jurisdiction,” said Lt. Charles Warner.
Metro Police investigators told News 2 they are very familiar with this scam, though they have no reports of this gang working Nashville recently.
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