Chicago woman's $37,000 check stolen from public mailbox by serial thief

A man is robbing Chicago mail carriers at gun point, and they are not his final victims.

Police say he is stealing their master keys, taking checks from the mail, and then altering those checks before successfully cashing them.

"I don't think I'll ever put a check in the mail again," a North Side victim who lost $37,000 told FOX 32 Chicago.

She put the large check in the mail to her landscaping contractor after getting some major work done to her yard. But about a week later, that contractor called her wondering where the payment was.


"He kindly said, 'hey, where's your payment?' and I said, 'what are you talking about? You got it and you cashed it.' He said, 'I did not cash it.'" So I immediately panic and I log into my bank and I pull up the check and it's totally made out to someone who I didn't make the check out to and it cleared."

She says the check was stolen out of the drive-up mailbox at the post office at Wellington and Ashland, and later found a Facebook post by another victim at the same location. Over the weekend, Chicago Police released a community alert saying a man has been robbing mail carriers of their master keys. They report five incidents since mid-August.

"I just really wish the post office would do a little more to put the word out," the victim said. "That same exact post office mailbox is still being used today by people who don't know they could be victims. Now I'm out an exorbitant amount of money and my bank is telling me 60-90 days to get that returned to my name."

If you have any information about these robberies, you're asked to contact Area 4 Detectives.