Across the state, some mail thieves are stealing checks out of mailboxes and others are taking personal information to access funds. In Tarrytown, NY, two men stole mail that held over $44,00 worth of checks.
According to authorities, the checks were from the school districts in Tarrytown. Two men from the Bronx, Sean Dash and Jade Williams, were indicted and arraigned in Westchester County Court on Oct. 4. Both men face felony charges of third-degree grand larceny and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property.
Dash and Williams were arrested in May during a traffic stop. According to prosecutors, they had been seen acting suspiciously in front of a mailbox on North Broadway around 2:35 a.m. In their car, police found a garbage bag with the mail of 14 separate victims, including the school district.
In Queensbury, New York, and in other towns across Saratoga County, authorities have been warning residents of a scam involving mail theft. State Police believe that two men from Georgia recently came to New York to participate in a scam that involves a nationwide ring of thieves. The FBI and local police around the country have all gotten involved in the investigation.
The Georgia men victimized at least three businesses in Queensbury when they went through their mailboxes at night to look for checks that were to be picked up the next day. If they found a check, they would take the account and routing numbers to produce new, fake checks with real bank information. They used computer equipment and a printer they had stashed in a motel to make these recreations.
According to police, the two men would go to stores in the area to convince local residents to take the checks to banks. They would often offer these participants a cut of the money. One of these participants went to police in Glen Falls, believing he had unwittingly been involved in a crime. That led authorities to a break in the case.
Although customers say that only about 31% of the direct mail they receive has useful personalized information, police are advising residents and business owners to take caution with what remains in their mailboxes. With checks especially, authorities are advising everyone to drop them in a secure mailbox rather than wait for a letter carrier to pick them up.