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‘Mind-boggling’: More Steele Creek businesses say checks were stolen and deposited

CHARLOTTE — More businesses in Steele Creek are coming forward after they say their checks were stolen and then deposited.

It was on a Friday in April that the general manager of Levantina, an international natural stone company, told Channel 9′s Gina Esposito one of his employees saw checks in his company’s mailbox.

The manager, Glenn McFadden, asked the employee to keep them in there and said he’d get them on Monday. But when he went to retrieve the checks on Monday, they were gone. He later realized more were missing, too.

McFadden said four checks totaling $23,000 disappeared from his company’s mailbox.

“It was kind of mind-boggling,” McFadden said. “I couldn’t imagine what would happen between Friday afternoon and Monday afternoon for these checks to be gone.”

McFadden said he found out from a customer that one check for $5,500 was cashed. Esposito got a copy of it and could see where someone signed the back of the check.

“For our business, we don’t endorse checks,” McFadden said. “They are all processed electronically and they never leave the building – so that was an immediate alert something had happened.”

Later, he discovered more checks were missing.

“We’re coming with a running total of $147,483,” he told Esposito.

McFadden doesn’t know who took the checks, but said he does believe there is something bigger going on in Steele Creek.

In May, the owner of Siteworks LLC told Esposito checks totaling $133,000 were stolen, reproduced and cashed hours after they were dropped off at the Steele Creek post office. McFadden said his company’s mail also goes through that post office.

“Everything that she was saying in her report was so similar except for the fact that all of her checks were outgoing and mine are ingoing,” he said.

Both the owner at Siteworks and McFadden filed reports with the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office. Neither says they’ve heard back.

Esposito learned Azura Medical Spa, another business in Steele Creek, filed a police report. An employee said checks they mailed were also reproduced and cashed. The company sends checks from their own mailbox, but also from same Steele Creek post office.

In an email, a U.S. postal inspector said they couldn’t confirm the cases, but said they are working various mail theft investigations.

“I can tell you that U.S. Postal Inspection Service takes seriously its role to safeguard America and will continue to aggressively pursue perpetrators that use the U.S. Mail System to further their illegal activity,” a spokesperson for the agency said. “We are working various mail theft investigations and unfortunately at this time cannot provide details.”

For McFadden, that’s not enough.

“Something is happening at that particular mail facility that is criminal and felonious and we should be able to get to the bottom of it,” he said.

USPIS said it encourages business to make complaints with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, since they work with local law enforcement partners. Esposito reached out to CMPD for comment but they are still working on her request.

To learn about prevention methods to help protect customers against mail and package theft, click here for information from the USPIS.

(WATCH BELOW: Business owner says more than $100K in checks stolen, then forged and deposited)