CHARLOTTE — Mail thieves have been stealing checks, credit cards, and personal information from South End businesses and they are fed up.
Business owners are not alone. Homeowners and church members have been the victim of mail theft, as well.
Mail theft is a frequent crime Channel 9 has followed for months.
Many business owners on Clanton Road said they’ve lost thousands of dollars because of mail fraud.
“I’m really glad (thieves) didn’t hit me last night because these are my (labels) and they cost me a lot of money,” said Suuz Martinez.
Martinez said many of her neighbors at a South End business park are exasperated.
Thieves have hit their cluster mailboxes so many times she has lost count.
Thieves stole her credit card, activated it, and racked up charges on it.
The criminals went to a QT, ABC Store, then to a Courtyard Marriot where they started doing online sales, Martinez said.
Several other business owners said mail theft happens all the time.
It is such a hot spot, there are marks on the collection box where thieves tampered with it.
Part of the problem is thieves use a postal master key, called an arrow key, which opens several mailboxes.
In November 2022, a postal worker was charged with selling the keys to thieves who stole more than $8 million worth of checks.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said it is the U.S. Postal Service’s responsibility to investigate the crimes.
Martinez said if you call the Postal Service, no one answers the phone.
Martinez said the property manager is also upset and they are looking at adding cameras and more lighting.
“I stopped writing checks,” Martinez said. “I don’t write checks anymore. My neighbors have had checks washed, and they’ve had all sorts of problems.”
Postal inspectors said they’re working on new ways to prevent attacks.
You can protect your mail by dropping it in the blue boxes close to pick-up times or inside the post office.
You can also use gel pens to write checks to ensure your writing doesn’t get erased.
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