Southwest Louisiana Victims Lose Thousands In Crime Wave
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Dept. has been investigating at least 13 mailbox thefts cases in the area. Thieves have broken into the U.S. Post Office mailboxes on Kirby Street and various residential mailboxes and stealing checks. Once the suspects boost the checks, handwritten checks are being altered and then deposited electronically.
Victims' bank accounts are being hit with digital withdrawals from fraudulently signed checks, in instances where thieves have altered the dollar amount. Checks that are being stolen from mailboxes aren't the only issue. KPLC reports local residents who've been hit with the latest crime wave, are the ones losing the most because bills are not getting paid. As a result, victims of these crimes now have to deal with orders, services, and subscriptions being shut off or canceled because the money was not received.
The thefts have cost thousands of dollars in losses and this financial nightmare isn't just happening in Calcasieu Parish, there have been several cases in Jefferson Davis Parish where thefts have occurred at residential mailboxes, even cluster mailboxes at apartment complexes. The authorities have issued a warning to all Louisiana residents not to place checks, especially personal checks in any exterior mailbox. If you need to mail a check the best rule of thumb is to bring your check to your local post office and hand it to a postal worker or a mailman.
The Sheriffs Dept. has made several arrests already and with ongoing investigations, there is no doubt that many more suspects will be behind bars in the coming days and weeks. By the way, mail theft is a federal crime that comes with steep fines of up to $250,000 and a minimum of five years in prison.