the staff of the Ridgewood
Ridgewood NJ , we have received multiply reports that mail dropped at the Ridgewood Post Office was somehow stolen and checks were fraudulently altered and deposited. This follows a similar reports in the Twp of Washington and in Oakland Nj, earlier this year .
18 U.S. Code § 1708 – Theft or receipt of stolen mail matter generally
Whoever steals, takes, or abstracts, or by fraud or deception obtains, or attempts so to obtain, from or out of any mail, post office, or station thereof, letter box, mail receptacle, or any mail route or other authorized depository for mail matter, or from a letter or mail carrier, any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or abstracts or removes from any such letter, package, bag, or mail, any article or thing contained therein, or secretes, embezzles, or destroys any such letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or any article or thing contained therein; or
Whoever steals, takes, or abstracts, or by fraud or deception obtains any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or any article or thing contained therein which has been left for collection upon or adjacent to a collection box or other authorized depository of mail matter; or
Whoever buys, receives, or conceals, or unlawfully has in his possession, any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or any article or thing contained therein, which has been so stolen, taken, embezzled, or abstracted, as herein described, knowing the same to have been stolen, taken, embezzled, or abstracted—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 779; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, § 39, 63 Stat. 95; July 1, 1952, ch. 535, 66 Stat. 314; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(I), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)
If you steal mail, you could be facing serious punishment under US Code Section 1708. Because the USPS is a federal agency, mail theft is charged as a federal offense. Conviction of any federal crime, even mail theft, can result in significant federal prison time and fines. In addition to federal charges, you may also face charges under California’s mail theft laws.