Glen Ridge police bust large mailbox-theft ring
Police in Glen Ridge have busted a large mailbox-theft ring allegedly responsible for stealing over $100,000.
Five people were arrested.
Investigators believe they were targeting money that people are putting in envelopes, and this year, especially around tax time, there are a lot of checks in the mail.
Glen Ridge police say Monday around 2 a.m., they pulled over a vehicle, and inside of it were two men with 24 letters containing $116,000 worth of checks.
Officers say the men had stolen letters from U.S. Postal Service mailboxes in several towns, including Glen Ridge, Bloomfield and Wayne.
"They found tools used commonly to go into these mailboxes and steal mail," says Cpt. Sean Quinn. "Being that it was tax day check amounts were higher than we normally see."
Police would not provide many details about how the men allegedly broke into the mailboxes. But commonly ways include using shoelaces with sticky material attached to “fish” out letters. Some newer mailboxes have security measures to prevent that from happening, but they are not yet widespread.
The thefts were reported in 13 townships throughout Bergen, Essex and Passaic counties.
Police say any person who needs to mail anything of value should do so inside a post office or mail it when it is close to collection time.
The thieves are expected to face federal charges, in addition to charges of theft from local police.