Regional
6:33 pm
Thu November 4, 2010

Raised Mailbox Flag Could Indicate Checks In The Mail

Las Cruces, NM – Over the last few weeks, LCPD detectives have investigated several fraud and forgery cases related to personal checks that appear to have been stolen from residential mailboxes and then washed, or bleached, and cashed by the perpetrator for much higher amounts.

Detectives believe that mailboxes, in particular curbside mailboxes, are targeted when the red flag is raised. The raised flag is intended to indicate that outgoing mail is ready to be picked up by the letter carrier,but perpetrators may see the raised flag as an opportunity to look for a signed personal check.

It is a federal offense to steal mail from collection boxes and anyone found guilty of such an offense is subject to a fine, imprisonment up to five years or both.

The Las Cruces Police Department recommends that outgoing mail,especially payments that contain checks, be deposited into a secure cluster box, a blue Postal Service collection box or taken directly to the post office.