Postal inspectors offer these tips after checks stolen from Richmond-area churches

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Houses of worship are supposed to be safe-havens for members of the community to practice their faith — but they can still fall victim to thieves.

Recently, a church in Hanover reached out to police in regard to the possibility of personal checks being stolen from local area churches. They were mailed to the church but were never received — later being cashed by unknown suspects. The thefts occurred months ago, but the investigation is still ongoing.

Michael Romano, a postal inspector with United States Postal Inspection Service, gave 8News tips on how to prevent mail thefts.

“Number one we tell people don’t leave your mail unattended in your mailbox overnight,” Romano said. “Deposit your outgoing mail at a blue collection box or inside the post office if possible. Never mail cash. If you mail a gift card or mail a check those are accountable items. There’s a recourse of dealing with any lost or stolen items like that from a bank or a vendor.”

Romano says mail fraud comes with some stiff penalties.

“Theft and tampering of U.S. mail is a federal offense. It’s punishable of up to five years and a $250,000 fine,” Romano added.

He urges anyone who believes they are a victim of mail theft to call the USPIS hotline at 877-876-2455.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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