By Kevin Jefferies
Commerce – The Commerce Police Department is investigating several cases of theft where residents have had checks intended to pay bills stolen from their mailboxes. The unknown suspects will take mail from mailboxes before it is picked up by mail carriers. Any checks in the outgoing mail are then washed and rewritten to be passed at other locations. Commerce Detective Sargeant Chris Vaughan said the group responsible could be operating outside of Commerce as well.
VAUGHAN: Right now, after having talked to some other agencies, I feel its possibly one group; but it could be more than that. They're hitting not only Commerce, but the surrounding cities.
No suspects have been named in the on-going investigation.
Commerce Police cite several precautions citizens can take to protect themselves from this type of theft. Use postal boxes to receive mail, mail letters and bills directly from the post office, and use uni-ball type gel pens to write checks, making the check harder to wash.