A U.S. Postal Service dropox in Winnetka was broken into and burglarized over the weekend, according to an alert from the Winnetka Police Department.
The burglary reportedly occurred on Saturday, May 13, to a dropbox in the rear parking lot of the Winnetka Post Office, 512 Chestnut St. Local police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are investigating the incident.
In the alert, the Winnetka Police Department urges residents who attempted to mail checks at the location after 2 p.m. on Saturday to contact their bank and stop payment on the checks.
The same dropbox was burglarized in December 2021, just a few days after dropboxes at the Wilmette Post Office were also burglarized. The Wilmette Post Office removed its exterior dropboxes and has yet to replace them.
The alert comes amid a multi-year increase in mail fraud known as “check washing,” which “occurs when an individual treats checks to remove their ink and rewrites them with a new payee and amount,” according to the Winnetka Police Department.
In recent Winnetka police reports, residents have reported mail fraud exceeding $5,000, and the department has warned of the rise in check washing in recent village newsletters.
“We continue to encourage residents to avoid mailing checks to prevent potential financial fraud,” the police alert says.
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