Photos courtesy of NYPD
A juice bottle dipped in glue is an example of a fishing device used to steal checks from mailbox.

Members of Forest Hills’ 112th Precinct recently reeled in an alleged mailbox fisher who had hundreds of dollars’ worth of stolen checks in his possession, police announced.

Officers from the command’s Anti-Crime Unit made the big bust at 1:40 a.m. on Nov. 8, when the precinct was informed of an individual allegedly stealing items from a mailbox located near the corner of 63rd Drive and 108th Street.

Upon arriving at the scene, police said, the officers spotted 25-year-old Travis Everett of Brentwood, Long Island, allegedly pulling envelopes out of the mailbox with a makeshift trap. The device consisted of sticky rat traps, heavy batteries and string, authorities said.

FISHING DEVICE

The battery device used by the perp to “fish” checks out of a mailbox. Photo courtesy of NYPD.

Law enforcement sources stopped Everett and conducted what was described as “a lawful inspection” of his vehicle. Inside the automobile, the officers recovered 346 allegedly stolen checks totaling $400,000.

Checks taken from the fisher's vehicle. The officers include (from left to right) Sergeant Christopher Colon, Officer Elvin Lugo, Officer Caesar Romero, Officer Wilking Nunez, Officer Irving Mercedes and Officer Michael Carswell. All except for Mercedes and Carswell were involved in the arrest.

Checks taken from the fisher’s vehicle. The officers include (from left to right) Sergeant Christopher Colon, Officer Elvin Lugo, Officer Caesar Romero, Officer Wilking Nunez, Officer Irving Mercedes and Officer Michael Carswell. All except for Mercedes and Carswell were involved in the arrest.

Everett was charged with burglary, criminal possession of stolen property, petit larceny, criminal tampering, possession of burglar tools and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Watch the video of his arrest below:

 

Mailbox fishing has been a prevalent crime across Queens in recent months with recent incidents occurring in BaysideMiddle Village, Ridgewood, MaspethGlendale and Woodhaven. Once thieves get ahold of checks that residents are mailing to pail bills, they “wash” the checks and re-write them so that they can be cashed for any amount that they want.

The NYPD recommends using online options for paying bills and going directly to the post office to check mail in order to avoid being a victim of mailbox fishing.

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