NICHOLS HILLS, Okla. (KFOR) – An arrest in Nichols Hills could be the break United States Postal Inspectors needed to solve a rash of stolen mail from blue post office boxes across the metro.
Several people across the area have recently reported checks and personal information stolen after dropping letters into outside mail boxes.
Nichols Hills’ newly-appointed mayor, Sody Clements, commended the police department for catching Justin Boone of Sand Springs during the city’s May council meeting.
“I’d like to start just by saying that in the report, the police report, I was really impressed,” said Clements. “I’m sorry that that’s all going on in our city but thank you for being on the case.”
Boone was arrested in April after he attempted to cash a check at a First Fidelity Bank drive thru on Avondale Drive, directly across the street from the police department.
According to the arrest affidavit, a teller inside the bank called police after realizing the check was altered. It was written for $256.50. When police arrived, they asked Boone for his ID but he claimed he did not have one.
When officers searched Boone’s car, they found what investigators said was a backpack full of stacks of checks, envelopes mailed out by several different people, packages of sticky mouse traps, weighted rope, and a master key from the United States Postal Service.
In addition, police also found multiple tax forms, credit cards, and social security cards. A used meth pipe was also discovered in the center console.
In the trunk, an electronic typewriter and chemicals often used to alter ink on checks was discovered.
Boone was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail on a $15,000 bond. He faces several charges and federal charges could be added soon since tampering with mail is a federal crime.
“One incident, just one piece of mail can get you five years in federal prison and substantial fines,” said Paul Ecker, United States Postal Inspector.
Officers tracked down the original owner of the check that Boone tried to cash. He told police he placed the envelope in the outside boxes at the post office off West Hefner Road.
Several other blue post boxes have been targeted in the past months from Yukon to Edmond.