A Wayne police officer nabbed three Paterson men before dawn Tuesday with several hundred pieces of stolen mail – including checks, credit cards and more, authorities said.
All belonged to residents of Wayne, Pompton Plains, Fairfield, and Haskell, Detective Capt. Daniel Daly said.
Responding to a resident's 5 a.m. call, Officer David Fox spotted the suspects in a vehicle on Webster Drive, Daly said.
Arrested were Jose Veras, 18, Edward Lopez, 19 and Osvaldo Rios, 22, all of whom were processed and released pending court hearings on charges of theft, conspiracy and credit card fraud.
“The victims in this case will be notified if their mail was recovered,” Daly said.
U.S. postal inspectors collected the stolen mail to return it to them, he said.
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.
Police throughout North Jersey urge 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.
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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