The U.S. Postal Service has cast a wide net on its old mailboxes so it could replace them with new ones following a string of so-called ‘fishing’ incidents across the Bronx.
The news could spell relief to Bronx residents victimized by the practice that involves thieves stealing mail by feeding a glue trap attached to a string into a mailbox and “fishing” out mail from the slot. Thieves preferably would look for checks where names were bleached using a special machine. The checks would later be cashed with many residents not knowing they were a victim until their mail was no longer received. This caused a lot of headaches for residents, forced to go to the post office to play it safe.
It’s unclear when Norwood, which had several reported fishing incidents reported, will receive the new mailboxes. In Congressman Eliot Engel’s 16th Congressional District, covering the northwest Bronx, some mailboxes have already been removed, adding inconvenience to residents who relied on the public mailboxes during the holiday season.
“Many of my constituents have been in for a surprise lately as they went to drop letters off at the mailbox only to find it wasn’t there,” Engel said. “The timing of this move is less than auspicious, but in order to protect our mail during the busy holiday season, this change had to be made. I will continue to keep in contact with postal officials throughout this process to ensure the boxes are replaced as soon as possible.”