Criminals stealing checks from mail sent though local post offices, and across the country, are building a sophisticated enterprise of easy cash, fraud and identity theft.
The amount of checks stolen from a Dunwoody Post office since last summer total nearly $500,000 and there are no significant leads on the cases, according to police.
U.S. Postal Service authorities are mainly handling the investigation. Dunwoody police are also involved, said police Public Information Officer Sgt. Michael Cheek.
Most checks are stolen from blue mailboxes located outside the post office on Dunwoody Village Parkway. Some have also been stolen from the maildrop inside the post office, Cheek added.
Thieves are “washing” the checks by erasing the penned ink in the payable spaces and the dollar amount. The check can then be forged and cashed, police say.
But Georgia State University Criminology Professor David Maimon added that there are multiple layers to what culprits can do with stolen checks. He said that in many cases separate parties steal the checks, wash them and cash or sell the checks.