YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police say a former U.S. Postal Service employee has been arrested in connection with a string of mail thefts in Yonkers.
Lorell Lee Legrand, 30, faces multiple charges including grand larceny and three counts of identity theft. Police said Legrand, working with others, deposited forged checks into a bank account.
Investigators said they determined the targeted checks were mailed from locations on Shonnard Place and Convent Avenue, Yonkers Avenue and Seminary Avenue, Page Avenue and Westerly Street and the post office on Yonkers Avenue.
According to investigators, Legrand worked as carrier assistant before resigning from the USPS last month. Police said they believe she was “actively involved with a group of individuals who targeted mail sent through the USPS system.”
Police said they anticipate making more arrests in connection with the case.
“Mail theft throughout Westchester County and, specifically, here in Yonkers has reached epidemic proportions,” Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino said in a statement. “We commend Yonkers Police and the United States Postal Inspection Service for their collaboration in bringing this suspect to justice and continuing efforts to stop this crime wave.”
Legrand was arrested and arraigned earlier this week and was remanded to the Westchester County Jail. Bail was set at $35,000 cash or bond. She’s due back in court later this month.
Last week, police said 10 blue public mailboxes were targeted in Yonkers with mail stolen from boxes on Main Street, Riverdale Avenue, South Broadway and Valentine Avenue.
The thefts have left many residents worried their letters and sensitive information, like checks and bank account numbers, may have been compromised.
Since January, 95 mailbox thefts have been reported in the area, resulting in nearly $700,000 withdrawn from compromised accounts.
In surveillance video released last month, a suspect can be seen easily opening a mailbox and dumping the contents into a bag held by a second suspect.
In that case, authorities arrested three men and also recovered a stolen master key that unlocks the mailboxes.
Police say if you think your mail was stolen in last week’s robbery you should continue to monitor your bank accounts closely for the next couple of months.