Jul. 22—Police are investigating post office thefts of checks totaling $24,000 that were fraudulently altered and cashed in the region.
The checks involve about 15 victims who dropped them in outdoor mailboxes at the Forrer Boulevard and East Stroop Road post offices this year, said Kettering Detective Vince Mason.
Nearly all of the checks — ranging from $1,625 to $2,210 — were dropped off outside the Forrer site between June 26-30, Mason said.
He advised those who mail checks to do at slots inside post offices, as the thief or thieves gained access to the outdoor mailboxes.
"They took the checks, and they changed the name of the payee and the amount of money the checks written for," he said.
The person given the checks "would walk right in the bank and present their ID, and they would scan the check. It's a good checking account. And they would cash a check," Mason said.
Kettering police know of five people suspected of cashing the checks but do not have a suspect in the thefts, Mason said.
The checks are being cashed at various banks in southwest Ohio, complicating the investigation by involving multiple jurisdictions, he said.
Federal mail theft is a felony, punishable up to five years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000, records show.
Anyone who suspects they have been victimized by these crimes is being asked to call Mason at 937-296-2583.