104th Precinct alerts Glendale residents of mailbox fishing

104th Precinct alerts Glendale residents of mailbox fishing
Mailbox fishing has been a concern in the Glendale community as the 104th Precinct continues to work with U.S. postal inspectors to combat the problem.
By Carlotta Mohamed

The 104th Precinct is alerting residents to protect themselves from becoming victims of mail theft.

According to police, residents in Glendale and the surrounding areas have complained about stolen mail from residential and U.S. postal mailboxes. The precinct has been working with postal inspectors to combat the problem, according to Police Officer Brenda Hyatt of the 104th Precinct Crime Prevention Unit.

“We have had 40 complaints about mail theft this year,” said Hyatt. “We have conducted numerous lectures with different organizations about the incidents and spoke about prevention methods for individuals to utilize from becoming a victim.”

On its Twitter account, the 104th Precinct has warned residents of mail fishing — where a suspect lowers a bottle or other object covered in adhesive on a string into a mailbox to steal envelopes.

According to Hyatt, in August two unidentified male suspects were captured on surveillance video attempting to gain entry to a mailbox located at 69-36 Myrtle Ave. in front of the Glendale Post Office using a stolen U.S. postal key.

No mail was stolen from the mailbox and the investigation is still ongoing, Hyatt said.

According to Hyatt, the precinct has posted flyers around the areas and have also obtained United States Postal inspection stickers from postal inspectors, who have placed them on mailboxes that have been compromised.

“For security of your mail, avoid putting mail in the box after the last posted pick-up time,” the sticker reads.

“As of now [the U.S. Postal Service] changed about 50 mailboxes to the new retro-fitted boxes, and they’re also continuing to upgrade their security on the postal boxes, Hyatt said.

The precinct has been sharing tips online with residents on how to protect themselves from mail crimes, such as dropping checks directly at the post office, or handing it to a mail carrier.

They’re also advising people to use a UNIBALL 207 gel pen when writing a check; and shred canceled or voided checks, credit card statements, or any other mail containing personal information.

For further details and information, residents can contact the 104th Precinct Crime Prevention Officers at (718) 386-6223 or email brendamarie.hyatt@nypd.org

All callers may remain anonymous.

Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmohamed@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4526.

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