Toms River police and postal authorities are investigating several cases of mail being stolen from the blue U.S. Postal Service curbside collection mailboxes, including those at the post office located on Water Street in downtown Toms River, police said Wednesday.
The practice is known as “mailbox fishing,” said Jillian Messina, police spokeswoman. Mailbox fishing occurs when mail thieves sift through mailed letters for checks that they can alter and fraudulently cash. Police are suggesting that anyone who has mailed checks or will mail checks monitor their bank accounts to make sure they reach their destination and are not altered.
In light of the recent thefts, police are encouraging residents to consider using verified online bill payment services or money transfer options offered through banks.
Local postal inspectors are working closely with the Toms River Police Department to investigate the recent mail thefts and identify the culprits. If you believe your mail was stolen in one of these incidents, police ask that you report it immediately by submitting an online complaint at postalinspectors.uspis.gov or calling 877-876-2455.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, recommends the following tips to protect your outgoing mail:
- Deposit outgoing mail at your local Post Office or hand your mail to a uniformed letter carrier.
- When using a blue collection box, be sure to deposit your mail before the last pickup time of the day.
- Do your best not let your outgoing mail sit in a mailbox overnight.
Anyone observing suspicious activity near post office locations are encouraged to call the Toms River police at 732-349-0150.