The people arrested after a high speed chase last Friday that spanned from Dothan to Hartford are believed to be responsible for stealing 52 checks from local businesses.
"From hotels to small dentist offices, anything they target. A lot of times they'll find areas where there are several mailboxes beside the road so they'll just go down and grab the mail out of them. So they'll just go down and have a big haul," said Andy Davis, investigator with the Dothan Police Department.
It's almost too easy, police say. Just a few swipes from your mailbox and anyone can have access to important documents and information and in the most recent case, your checks.
"We were lucky to catch, we feel like, the actual counterfeiter (the check maker) according to one of the individuals we did arrest in this case, his interview, it appeared that this gentleman was the one making the checks, bringing the checks to them," Davis said.
Authorities say stealing checks and other information out of the mail has been on the rise in the area in the last three to four months and the culprits aren't always easy to catch.
"They'll find people that are homeless or jobless and pick them up and get them to cash the checks and get their identification. At that point the person that's cashing the checks are the ones that are going to get picked up; they're the ones that are going to get arrested--leaving the real criminals free with a majority of the money."
Police say the best thing you can do to keep this from happening is to pay your bills online if it's an option and if it's not, try to physically hand your important mail to your mail carrier instead of putting it in the mailbox.
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