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Police in Massachusetts and Rhode Island warn after checks altered and stolen from mailboxes



Police in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are warning the public after checks have been altered and stolen from mailboxes.

Warwick Police have stated that they have seen an uptick in reported check fraud, originating from “mailbox fishing”. Individuals are “fishing” checks out of posted USPS mail bins, washing the checks, and cashing them, usually for thousands more than originally written.

Mail bins that have been targeted recently are located at:
– 850 Post Rd
– 325 Strawberry Field Rd
– Namquid Dr @ Spring Green Rd

In August, two Massachusetts teens were arrested in a scheme involving a quarter of a million dollars.

The Mattapoisett Police received multiple reports of stolen and altered checks from Mattapoisett residents that mailed the checks at the Mattapoisett Post office outside mailboxes. Amounts of the reported stolen checks to date totaled over $250,000.

Mattapoisett Police immediately investigated the reports and determined that mail was being stolen from the outside depositories at the United Stated Post Office located in Mattapoisett. The stolen checks were then altered for large amounts and often deposited or cashed out of state.

The Mattapoisett police conducted surveillance and the officer observed 2 parties fishing mail from the outside depositories. Mattapoisett Police approached the parties who fled to a vehicle parked on Hammond Street.

The vehicle, a white Acura, fled the area at a high rate of speed striking a Mattapoisett Police cruiser. The vehicle proceeded north on North Street; the vehicle attempted to travel on I-195 east where the vehicle continued across the median into the wooded area. Both operator and passenger fled the vehicle into the wooded area. Officers set up a perimeter around the area. A search with Plymouth County Sheriff’s K9 located 18-yar-old Jorman Aybar of Dorchester. A short time later, 18-year-old Joseph Herrera Rodriguez also of Dorchester, was located in the same area.

Fairhaven Police, Rochester Police, Marion Police, Plymouth County Sheriffs BCI and K9 and the Massachusetts State Police patrol and airwing assisted.

Herrera Rodriguez was charged with Breaking into a Depository with intent to commit a felony, Assault and Battery, Dangerous Weapon, Larceny over $1200, Fail to stop for Police Officer, Operating a Motor Vehicle to endanger, Marked Lanes, and Speeding.

Jorman Aybar was charged with Breaking into a Depository with intent to commit a felony and Larceny over $1200.

The Warwick PD has issued some tips to prevent you from becoming a victim.

-Consider transferring your money via other methods

-Drop mail containing checks directly at the Post Office or hand it directly to your mail carrier

-If you use a mailbox, deposit the mail as close to the scheduled pick-up time as possible

-When writing a check use a pen with pigmented ink that cannot be erased.



  1. Dennis Tabella

    October 3, 2022 at 11:35 am

    One issue is that the post offices at 850 Post Rd and
    325 Strawberry Field Rd let the drop-off mail boxes fill up until the mail is sticking out of the mail boxes and easy to grab.

    • Gary Ware

      December 21, 2022 at 8:19 am

      What’s not being reported is that they think the thief has a KEY to the blue mailboxes. So the new more secure mailboxes with special slots aren’t any help. It appears that the mailboxes all have the same key within some area. They need to change the locks on all the mailboxes ASAP. It’s also possible they’re actually picking the lock. Maybe the locks are not good enough.

      Another thing they’re not saying is that when the letter carrier takes mail from your personal mailbox they typically just drop it the blue mailbox which could happen at any time of day.

      If you go to the post office, you need to bring it INSIDE. Just dropping it outside is no better.

      The crook doesn’t ‘erase’ the writing, they wash it off with solvent.

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