Thieves Snatch Teaneck Residents' Checks From Postal Boxes, Forge Them For $240,218

A criminal crew stole checks mailed by Teaneck residents from postal boxes, then changed the amounts to more than 100 times the totals and cashed them, federal authorities said.

Noah Aranzamendi

Noah Aranzamendi


Noah Aranzamendi, 25, of Brooklyn, and his associates used universal (or "arrow") keys to open the outdoor mailboxes, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said.

They then shared images via an encrypted message app of the checks, which were then altered, the U.S. attorney said.

The four checks, which were initially written out for a total of $1,896.59, ended up fetching a whopping $240,218, he said.

The crew sold the checks to third parties, created bogus bank accounts that they quickly closed after withdrawing the cash on the deposited checks or deposited them with "complicit accountholders who had provided access to their bank accounts for the scheme," Sellinger said.

One check, for $28.84, was converted into $8,600, an indictment returned by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Newark says.

The rest:

  • A check made out for $548.75 was "washed" into $4,890;
  • Another for $1,071 was altered to pay $8,071;
  • A fourth, made out for $248, was boosted to $9,400.

Aranzamendi had been busted for a pair of similar thefts on Long Island in late 2022.

SEE: Trio Busted Stealing Mail From Post Office In Nassau County, Police Say

He remains in federal custody on the indictment, which charges him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and the receipt and possession of stolen mail.

Sellinger credited inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and special agents with the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General with cracking the case.

He also expressed special thanks to Teaneck police.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachelle M. Navarro of Sellinger's Organized Crime and Gangs Unit in Newark is prosecuting the case for the government.

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