Thieves Pilfering Checks From Mailboxes Using Mouse Glue Traps

“Beware of sticky slots,” warns Mary Frost, our intrepid neighborhood journalist. Mary reports in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that thieves are using mouse glue traps to steal envelopes from USPS mailboxes around Brooklyn Heights. If you use the mail to send paper checks (do you still use the ledger on the back of the checkbooks too?), you may want to take the envelopes to the post office.

How do the thieves do it? They tie a string to a glue trap and slide it through the “theft-protection” slots to fish out the envelopes. The sticky goo left by the glue traps also prevent the mail from falling to the bottom of the mailboxes. A survey last week found that every mailbox on Henry and Hicks Sts., from Middagh St. to Atlantic Ave., save one, had a stickiness on the slots.

And what do the thieves then do with the checks made out to Verizon or Grandson Billy? According to Mary, they “wash” the checks with common household chemicals to erase Billy’s name and write in theirs, and add a few zeros to the amount to boot. Identity theft is also a possibility. Here is a report from a witness of the crime, posted on Nextdoor.

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  • Jane

    Thanks for reporting this.

  • Andrew Porter

    I only mail checks using the mail slots inside the Post Office on Cadman Plaza East. Nowhere else. One local business I deal with had one of their checks stolen and rewritten for several thousand dollars; they eventually got their money back, but it took a long time.

  • JaneonOrange

    I mailed three valentine’s day cards from the box on the corner of Orange and Hicks (including one to my husband)–two made it, but my husband’s has yet to appear….

  • Mike Suko

    Just curious. Do banks “do the right thing” in these instances or do the victims have to eat it or sue? Anybody have either personal or fact-based knowledge?

  • Claude Scales

    In Mary’s Eagle story she tells of a Heights couple who had five checks stolen. They were able to stop payment on three. The two biggest ones had been cashed when they learned of the theft. The banks eventually returned their money.