Action 9: Charlotte man believes thief stole check out of mail, used it to print more

Action 9: Charlotte man believes thief stole check out of mail, used it to print more

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte man thinks someone stole one of his checks out of the mail and used it to print more checks.

Tom Habbal owns a car dealership on Independence Boulevard. He told Action 9's Jason Stoogenke he mailed a check to NASA Federal Credit Union and a car title to a customer, but they never made it.

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He thinks someone stole his mail, altered the check to the credit union, and cashed it.

He showed Stoogenke, "See how they crossed [out] the name, and they put a different person's name [on it] and the $500, they made it $5,000?"

Then, it looked like the thief used Habbal’s bank account number from the check to print two more checks with the same account number: one for $2,000 and the other for $2,010.

Altogether, the criminal stole more than $9,000.

"Very frustrating not knowing if they're going to produce more checks," Habbal said. "I think everybody is a target right now."

Stoogenke covered other cases of thieves stealing mail, even some postal employees. Postal inspectors say from fall 2017 to fall 2018, special agents investigated more than 1,200 complaints of stolen mail and arrested 425 people.

Habbal doesn't know who took his mail. He said his bank reimbursed him. He also spoke to police.

Protect yourself:

  • Check your bank accounts daily so you pick up on any suspicious activity right away.
  • Try to mail important items at the post office directly.
  • If you mail them somewhere else, at least do so before the last collection time on the mailbox.  That way, your mail doesn't sit overnight.