Man loses multiple checks to mail theft

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A Bakersfield man said he was forced to cancel his bank accounts after someone stole several checks from his outgoing mailbox in south Bakersfield, an Eyewitness News investigation discovered.

Tom Harrison told Eyewitness News he placed four checks in the outgoing portion of his community mailbox this past Monday, only to have his checks stolen hours after he put them in.

"The mail slot was pried open and standing wide open and bent," Harrison said. "It took two hours to cancel our checking account and to get a new account number so someone could not use those checks."

Harrison said he also got the runaround from his local post office.

"They acted like, 'Eh. No big deal. It happens all the time,'" he said.

Jeff Fitch, a United States postal inspector and spokesman, said there has been a rise in mail theft in the central valley.

"We've seen an uptick with the mail theft activity," Fitch said. "If you think you've been a victim ... contact postal inspectors, police department or the sheriff's office."

Harrison, who called the entire incident "frustrating," said he just wanted to warn his community of the thefts.

"If you mailed something over the weekend, you better check and see," Harrison said. "Cancel those checks because they could be used against you, very easily and very quickly."