A Fair Lawn detective continued his recent streak of arrests connected to thefts from local mailboxes.
Detective Paul Donohue arrested 20-year-old Franklin Peralta after a resident reported mailing a personal check from the Radburn Post Office, where dropboxes had been broken into, Sgt. Brian Metzler said.
The $2,128 check never reached its intended recipient and, instead, had been cashed by someone else, Metzler said.
Peralta, he said, “used someone else’s account to cash the check at an ATM, then paid the account holder $50.”
He was released pending a court hearing on charges of theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
Donohue is on a roll.
Earlier this month, the detective busted two different people in connection with the thefts of checks that residents mailed outside the Radburn Post Office.
Last month, he arrested two women accused of cashing checks fished from drop boxes.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is investigating the widespread rash of theft, most of which come from boxes outside post offices in various towns.
Thieves who once used wire and adhesive to fish envelopes from the boxes are now simply prying them open and snatching bundles of mail.
Police throughout North Jersey are urging citizens to go into their local post offices to mail anything of value.
They also warn against placing any mail in a free-standing box at night or on a holiday or weekend because it will end up sitting there awhile.
Although stealing mail is a federal crime that carries a prison term of up to five years for a conviction, thefts continue to increase at an alarming rate.
If you see someone fishing or tampering with a mailbox or sitting in a car parked for a long time near one, contact your local police department immediately. Or call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Hotline at (877) 876-2455 .
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