Broken mailboxes connected to stolen checks

OKEECHOBEE — Vandalism of three public U.S. Mail boxes has led to warnings from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) and the Okeechobee City Police Department (OCPD).

Three United States Postal Service (USPS) mailboxes located throughout the county have been vandalized. The incidents are currently under two types of investigation.

According to an OCPD incident report, OCPD Officer John Zeigler met with a postal supervisor at the Okeechobee U.S. Post Office on Oct. 23 in regards to vandalism on two mailboxes and the possibility of mail theft.

The postal supervisor reported that sometime between Saturday, Oct. 21, and Monday, Oct. 23, unknown person(s) forcibly entered two upright mailboxes, one located in front of the Historic Okeechobee County Courthouse at 304 N.W. Second St. and the other located in front of SunTrust Bank, 815 S. Parrott Ave.

The postal supervisor informed the officer that a third mailbox, in front of the Dollar General at 3603 U.S. 441 S., had also been vandalized and an OCSO deputy had responded in that matter.

The damaged mailboxes have been wrapped in cellophane and taken out of service until they can be removed, repaired or replaced.

Law enforcement officials turned over the vandalism investigation to the United States Postal Inspection Service. However, local officials are handling any current and possible future fraud claims from this event, including reports of stolen checks being altered and routed elsewhere.

(OCSO) PIO, Michele Bell and (OCPD) PIO, Detective Bill Saum advise the public to be cautious when mailing checks or other financial documents. They recommend sensitive items be mailed directly from the main Post Office building on State Road 70. They also recommend anyone who placed mail containing financial or personal information into any of the vandalized mail boxes to actively monitor all financial institution activity.

USPS mailbox

The Lake Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and now includes news from around the lake every Wednesday.

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