Thief targets mailbox at Van Alstyne post office - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Thief targets mailbox at Van Alstyne post office

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A mailbox at the Van Alstyne post office was broken into last week. (KTEN) A mailbox at the Van Alstyne post office was broken into last week. (KTEN)
Ritchie Rodgers said he found out his vehicle payment had been stolen after checking his bank account. (KTEN) Ritchie Rodgers said he found out his vehicle payment had been stolen after checking his bank account. (KTEN)
There's a new lock on the Van Alstyne mailbox that was the target of a thief. (KTEN) There's a new lock on the Van Alstyne mailbox that was the target of a thief. (KTEN)

VAN ALSTYNE, Texas -- Officials are investigating after a mailbox at the Van Alstyne post office was broken into last week. 

Ritchie Rodgers said he put his $685 car payment in that mailbox last Wednesday, but had no idea about the theft.

"I was freaking out because I'm disabled, and now I'm late on my truck payment," he said.

Rodgers said he checked his bank statement on Thursday and saw a charge for the same amount at a Walmart in Athens, Texas.

"I came to the post office to report it and found out the mailbox had been broken into after I dropped my check in there," he said. 

Rodgers said no one from the post office notified him that the mailbox had been broken into.

"I'm very upset, because not only was my mail stolen, but a lot of peoples' mail was stolen from the box," he said.

The Van Alystne post office confirms the box was broken into. They also said the lock was replaced immediately, and that the postmaster reported the theft.

"People don't understand the severity for penalties for stealing mail," said Postal Inspector Amanda McMurray. "Mail theft is actually a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison per item stolen."

Rodgers said his bank reimbursed him the money he lost. Now he offers this advice: 

"Check your bank accounts very closely, because if you mailed your house payment or whatever through that post office box, now you have to worry about your information being stolen," he said.

Van Alstyne police Chief Tim Barnes said his department was not notified about the mailbox theft until Rodgers alerted them on Wednesday. Barnes said they are now working with police in Athens on the case.

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