By Zinnia Maldonado, WBZ-TV

ATTLEBORO (CBS) – The Chief of Police in Attleboro issued a warning to residents to avoid using certain mailboxes in the city after more than 20 people reported money stolen from their bank accounts.

Attleboro resident Jose Moniz said he had more than $3,000 stolen from him this month after mailing a check. He placed the check in a U.S. mailbox at the post office along Pleasant Street to pay his credit card bill, but he soon found out the check had been cashed.

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“I called Webster Bank here in Attleboro and they said your check was cashed and I said it was cashed by whom and they said I don’t know,” Muniz said.

His money was eventually returned by the bank, but Moniz still filed a police report, turns out he wasn’t the only victim.

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Attleboro Police said thieves are using what’s known as a “fishing” device to reach into this mailbox and pull-out mail. Since October first, there’s been 21 thefts and thieves aren’t just hitting the Pleasant Street mailbox.

Police said 15 fishing attacks have taken place at the South Attleboro post office as well. Postal inspectors are investigating both locations.

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Stealing mail is a federal crime and to avoid being a victim the U.S. Postal Service recommends you:

  • Hand outgoing mail to your letter carrier or send inside the post office
  • Ask your bank for “secure” checks
  • Never send cash
  • Report suspicious activity- such as glue or other sticky products left behind on a mailbox