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Stolen Checks Prompt Community Meeting in the Arts District

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, April 06, 2010, at 10:41AM
No Longer Collected David Gallagher [Flickr]

When an Arts District business owner began to investigate payments that did not reach their destination, she discovered that checks had been stolen from her outgoing mail drop at 923 East 3rd, forged, then cashed at check-cashing stores in northeast Los Angeles.

Now, federal investigators have arrested one suspect and are working to see if the operation is part of a larger organized ring.

Security camera footage from the building at 923 E. 3rd revealed that two people entered her building at 11:16pm on March 22 and used a key to open the USPS building-access lockbox.

"After the initial thefts, the security camera recorded a man with a piece of paper, like instructions, at the door of my building," she said. The video shows a man making a first attempt at 3:51am, then returning at 3:56am reading what appears to be notes.

The video was shared with the investigators working on the initial theft, and has prompted other units to report similar instances of mail theft, check fraud and identity theft.

The community meeting will be held at Cafe Metropol (923 E. 3rd St.) this Wednesday, April 7, at 8pm.

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