RAMSEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Ramsey, New Jersey, don’t want people using the big blue postal service mailboxes.
They’re warning residents as the number of mail fishing incidents rises.
Ramsey Police are currently investigating 50 cases of mail theft that occurred just within the last two months.
“It’s an easy mark, it’s easy to fish mail out of these mailboxes and they know how to wash the checks and deposit them to get the cash,” Ramsey Police Chief Bryan Gurney said.
The most recent incident happened Monday morning when two people were arrested for stealing from mailboxes just feet from the entrance to the Main Street Post Office.
Last week at the same location, police confiscated mouse traps, shoe laces and water bottles that had been put together to create a makeshift fishing device.
Now police are telling residents to stop using the mailboxes altogether, even putting a sign right outside the building.
“Hopefully they’ll get it taken care of quick. I’m sure people are sending gift cards, money through the mail more around this time of year,” Ramsey resident Michele Stecyna said.
“Gift cards and checks. People think they paid their bills and the bills are not paid,” Mahwah resident Maki Greenwald said. “This is not a bad town that people expect something like that.”
Gurney suggests using online banking or money-transferring apps to avoid mailing cash, gift cards or checks, at least until the mailboxes are replaced with newer ones containing smaller slots.
Just a few months back, many mailboxes in New York State were replaced with newer mailboxes to combat the issue.
“People just got to really keep an eye out, especially if they’ve mailed checks out. Keep an eye on their account, let their banks know they mailed checks recently and there’s been thefts,” Gurney said.
Unfortunately, Ramsey is not the only Bergen County municipality dealing with this type of crime.
Hackensack, New Milford and Fair Lawn are just a few also warning residents to be cautious.