PTPD arrest bank check counterfeit suspect; warn of mailbox theft

Posted 9/4/14

Port Townsend police have arrested a 27-year-old man suspected of stealing checks from local mailboxes then depositing the money into his bank account.

Donald Eugene Green III, of Port Hadlock, …

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PTPD arrest bank check counterfeit suspect; warn of mailbox theft

Posted

Port Townsend police have arrested a 27-year-old man suspected of stealing checks from local mailboxes then depositing the money into his bank account.

Donald Eugene Green III, of Port Hadlock, was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 2 and booked into Jefferson County Jail. He faces up to nine counts each of forgery and second-degree theft, according to a press release Sept. 4 from the Port Townsend Police Department.

The five victims in the case are from Alaska and Port Townsend. Victims reported to the PTPD that the checks were either incoming or outgoing to curbside mailboxes.

Green allegedly took checks from mailboxes and made himself the payee, then deposited the checks into his account, according to a press release from Patrick Fudally, PTPD public information office.

A cell phone-based mobile banking application was used to deposit the forged checks. This made it harder to notice that the checks had been modified, according to the PTPD. Using chemicals or an eraser to remove ink from checks can often be noticed when depositing checks in person at a bank. The cell phone application takes photographs of the checks, making some of the tell-tale physical signs of erasing the original payee’s name harder to detect.

The victims in the case took note of the missing money and alerted the financial institutions, which quickly put an end to the scheme.

The investigation is continuing to see if there are more victims or suspects. Anyone else who feels they may be a victim in this case can contact the PTPD at 360-385-2322.

The case highlights the importance of mailbox security, said PTPD officer Luke Bogues. Especially during the holiday season, reports of mail and parcel theft rise. Some precautions to take to prevent mail theft are as follows:

-- Know what time your mail arrives and pick it up soon thereafter.

-- Purchase a secure locking mailbox approved by the Postmaster General.

-- Put outgoing mail in United State Postal Service collection boxes instead of curbside residential mailboxes.

-- Receive your mail at a post office box.

-- Have packages delivered to a place of business or held by the carrier for pickup at their office.

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