Police investigate stolen checks from mailboxes - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Police investigate stolen checks from mailboxes

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Authorities are investigating a string of mail theft incidents in Lawton. This month five residential homes have reported having checks stolen from their mailboxes. 

A victim who wishes to remain anonymous says she wrote an eighty-dollar check for her water bill and placed it in her mailbox.

Only to find a few weeks later, nearly six hundred and fifty dollars was stolen from her account.

"An individual had driven by seen the red flag on the mailbox up indicating mail and proceeded to take that check,” said the victim. “That envelope that was addressed to the city of Lawton utility company out and then proceeded to use it for a fraudulent purchase."

That purchase was a laptop from Walmart later returned to receive cash.

A detective told the victim the suspect used a method called check washing--a process used to erase the details from checks, allowing them to be rewritten.

Sergeant Timothy Jenkins of Lawton Police Department says leaving checks in mailboxes is the best opportunity for a thief to commit check fraud. Especially during the day.


"Most people aren't home,” said Jenkins. “Most people are at work or going about their day to day activities. so, when they feel there may not be anyone at home they go up and take your mail."

Jenkins encourages residents to get a lock for their mailboxes or send checks directly from the post office but, most importantly do not to leave checks in the mail.

He also gave these tips. 

“First contact the police authority let them know your mail has been tampered with,” said Jenkins. “Secondly contact the local police agency let them know as well we can file a report. Thirdly check your checking accounts and then check with your neighbors always talk to your neighbors. See if their mail has been taken what steps did they take."

A suspect has been arrested in this particular case, and the victim views this incident as a lesson learned.

"I’m not going to criticize myself for using the postal service like the way,” said the victim. “It was intended by putting it in my box I’m just now being a little more vigilant and judicious about how I send out my mail."

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