According to Captain John Hall of the 111th Precinct, mailbox fishing has seen a decline since its spike last summer.
But he still advises against dropping off checks in the mailbox this tax season.
“If you have to write checks this tax season, walk them into the post office. @USPS mailboxes aren’t secure,” reads the Tweet from the precinct’s Twitter account. “Take checks into the post office. @USPS mailboxes will not be secure until they are retrofitted,” reads another Tweet.
Recently, Hall posted information to Twitter regarding four mailbox fishing incidents between Jan. 25 and Feb. 14. The captain reported that the incidents happened at the following mailboxes:
- Friday, Jan. 25: Francis Lewis Boulevard and 38th Avenue
- Tuesday, Feb. 5: Northern Boulevard and 203rd Street
- Tuesday, Feb. 5: Francis Lewis Boulevard and 32nd Avenue
- Thursday, Feb. 14: Northern Boulevard and 194th Street
“The mailbox fishing problem didn’t really start up in full force last year until early summer. The volume compared to then has definitely declined. They’re not using mailbox keys to open the boxes anymore since USPS made changes to the locks. Now, they are restricted to fishing. We still advise people to not use the ‘old’ mailboxes,” Hall told QNS.
United States Postal Service (USPS) spokeswoman Donna Harris told QNS that the agency was steadily working to replace or retrofit mailboxes throughout the 111th Precinct with the “Cadillac of mailboxes.”
The new high-security mailboxes feature small slits — about three-eighths of an inch high — instead of a larger opening. According to Harris, the new mailboxes have already been installed in areas in Bayside, Oakland Gardens and Little Neck.
Eventually, Harris said that USPS will replace or retrofit all 206 blue mailboxes throughout the precinct though she did not specify a timeline for when it would be complete.