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Police arrested a Fresh Meadows man who allegedly went fishing for valuable mail out of a Flushing mailbox last week, authorities said.

On April 4 at approximately 3:45 a.m., an eyewitness spotted the perpetrator, a 26-year-old Asian male, opening up a postal box at 130-38 60th Ave. with a key, but was not dressed as a postal worker, authorities said. The eyewitness then called the police.

Officers from the 109th Precinct responded to the scene and found that the suspect did not have authority to gain access to the mailbox. The perpetrator, Jie Hong Chen, a resident of 150th Street and 71st Avenue, was arrested and charged with grand larceny, petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. He is currently in custody.

Mail-related crime remains to be a problem in northeast Queens and throughout the city. Inspector Thomas Conforti visited a Whitestone civic meeting last November to inform residents of the prevalent mail fishing scam and share some tips on how best to protect oneself from falling victim to the crime.

Later, at the first community council meeting of the new year, Deputy Inspector Judith Harrison, commanding officer of the 109th Precinct, said zeroing in on mail-related crime would continue to be a focus of the command.



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