You are reading

Two Men Face 7 Years in Prison for Mailbox Fishing in Forest Hills, Richmond Hill

Photo of the juice bottle and string being used for mail fishing (Photo: 112 Precinct/ Twitter)

Dec. 1, 2018 By Christian Murray

Two men have been charged and face 7 years in prison for stealing mail from mailboxes in Richmond Hill and Forest Hills, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Alvaro Martinez, 28, of Manhattan, and Luis Velazquez, 22, of the Bronx, were charged Thursday after being caught fishing for mail in a mailbox in Richmond Hills. Police then linked the pair to a number of mail box thefts in Forest Hills.

Both men have been charged with third-degree burglary, first-degree criminal tampering and other charges. Bail was set at $20,000 for Martinez and $10,000 for Velazquez, and both must return to court on Dec. 13.

Police observed Martinez with his hands near the opening slot of a mailbox at the intersection of Lefferts Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue in Richmond Hill at around 3:50 a.m. on Nov. 28. Velazquez was leaning on the box at the time.

When police approached the pair, they moved away but a shoestring was left dangling from the mailbox slot, authorities said. The U.S. Postal Police opened the box and found the shoestring attached to a juice bottle that was covered with glue.

“The defendants in this case were allegedly caught red handed with their makeshift rods in the belly of blue mailboxes,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown in a statement. “These two individuals allegedly sought to enrich themselves by taking advantage of others’ long held trust that once you place your mail in the box, it’ll get to the intended recipient.”

Police then found dozens of pieces of mail along with mouse and glue traps, commonly slathered on an object used to fish mail from boxes, in Velazquez’ car.

The police also uncovered surveillance video of Velazquez in front of a mailbox at around 4:35 a.m. on Oct. 29 at 64th Avenue and 108th Street, and another mailbox a block away. The video purports to show Velazquez inserting an object into the mailboxes and pulling it out again along with pieces of mail.

Meanwhile, on Nov. 17, shortly before 4 a.m., Martinez was observed on video surveillance standing in front of a blue mailbox at 62nd Drive and 108th Street also in Forest Hills. He could be seen on camera placing something inside the mailbox and then retrieving that item along with mail attached to it.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Lazy Lieutenant

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I do not give any credit to the officers or the precinct. They probably stumbled across this like keystone cops on their way to 7/11.

Immoral Society

if these guys are willing to go through all this effort in an attempt to benefit themselves…. uhh hey guys, how about trying a legal job instead? Hard working… experienced… and mostly STUPID!


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force investigating vandalism at Forest Hills church that has been targeted in the past

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a case of criminal mischief at a Forest Hills house of worship in which a vandal threw a rock to intentionally damage its glass front door, according to authorities.

Police say that just before 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, police from the 112th Precinct were called to Grace Lutheran Church, located at 103-15 Union Tpke., after a man threw a rock and damaged the church’s front door.

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.