But Neighbors In Prospect Lefferts Gardens Are Staying Away Anyway

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The U.S. Postal Service said a corner mailbox in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn, was safe to use Tuesday, after thieves targeted the box in a fishing scheme.

But some neighbors said they want nothing to do with the mailbox ever again.

As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, the thieves have been targeting a mailbox at Rogers Avenue and Maple Street. They have used household products to probe into the mailbox and steal the items inside, including cash, checks, DVDs and video games.

One neighbor, Roy Powell, said he used the mailbox recently to mail a bill. But the bill never made it to the address printed on the front of the envelope.

“When I got my bill, I had late charges and two payments,” Powell said.

The thefts initially prompted the U.S. Postal Service to warn people not to use the mailbox that thieves have been targeting, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported Monday.

“Money orders, cash, anything — you know, thieves are opportunists, so anything that they can find,” said Postal Inspection Service spokeswoman Donna Harris.

No actual fishing pole was used in the scheme. Instead, the thieves used glue mouse traps, attached some string, and cast them into the box, helping themselves, officials said.

“We are investigating. We’re taking investigative and preventatives measures to ensure that this does not continue,” Harris said.

The Postal Inspector’s Office would not reveal the specifics, but they said the office is watching the box and it is now safe to use.

But neighbors remained skeptical Tuesday, warning each other by attaching a sticker inside of the box.

“From now on, I won’t be using this mailbox,” said neighbor Fred Lawrence.

Most neighbors said they have decided to go to the Post Office, or hand their mail directly to a carrier.

And as for Powell, he said “now, most of my bills are direct payment.” He said the sticky thieves can go fishing somewhere else.

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