Mailboxes were broken into at two Massachusetts post offices Sunday night and the thief or thieves managed to escape officers chasing after them twice, police said.
They're warning anyone who dropped off a check at the Weston post office in Colpitts Road between Friday afternoon and Sunday night to consider it stolen and likely used in a forgery.
"We strongly urge you to cancel these checks and notify your bank immediately. We would further recommend never using outside mail drop boxes, as this crime is occurring constantly all over our area," Weston police said in a Facebook post. "We have unfortunately been fielding these types of fraud reports from victims almost daily."
The Weston post office was the first one struck Sunday night, police said. The drop box was broken into — not for the first time — but police in the area spotted the vehicle involved and gave chase.
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The vehicle took off and sped away from police, then went to a post office in Arlington, about eight and half miles away, where they broke into another mailbox, according to Weston police. Local officers chased after them but the vehicle escaped into Medford.
The Weston post office drop box has been repeatedly stolen from, according to the department, which told NBC10 Boston that at least 12 checks were fraudulently cashed after being stolen from it since November.
The Arlington Police Department said Monday that it is investigating the theft in that community.
"Thefts from Postal Service mailboxes are an ongoing issue that we have been investigating with law enforcement partners for some time now, and as we see increasing numbers of such thefts around the region, we recommend postal service customers take precautions," Arlington Police Chief Julie Flaherty said in a statement. "Anyone who left a check in the mailbox at 10 Court Street over the weekend should cancel the check and notify their bank immediately."
Police in other parts of Massachusetts, including Needham, have also reported mailbox thefts.
Weston police recommended that anyone dropping off checks bring them inside a post office for delivery.