Aug. 30, 2018 By Tara Law
Police nabbed a 22-year-old Bronx man they spotted stealing mail from a Forest Hills mailbox during the early hours Friday.
Luis Velaquez, 22, was charged with criminal larceny, criminal tampering, criminal possession of stolen property and possession of burglar tools.
At around 2:30 a.m. Aug. 24, officers from the 112 precinct saw Velaquez pulling mail out of a Forest Hills mailbox near 65th Avenue and 108th Street. Velaquez was arrested on the scene.
The precinct released a photo of the objects Velaquez was caught with, including a pile of envelopes and a juice bottle tied with strings.
The NYPD has repeatedly warned New Yorkers that mailbox “fishing” is a popular tactic among thieves in the city.
Thieves typically slather a heavy object with something sticky, tie the object with a string and lower it into a mailbox, police say.
The goal of such an operation is often to steal checks, which can then be “washed” and rewritten with different information.
After Velaquez’s arrest, police from the 112 Precinct took to Twitter to advise the community to protect themselves.
“Always remember if you place your check in a mailbox please do so as close to pickup time as possible or better yet directly inside the Post Office,” the post said. “Otherwise this could end up being your check one day.”