HOLLY HILL, S.C. (WCBD) – Authorities in Orangeburg County are investigating after thieves stole checks from mailboxes across the county.
“They’re apparently riding around looking for flags up on mailboxes,” said Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell. “They’ll then sort through the mail looking for checks that were intended to pay bills.”
The checks are then altered, allowing the criminals to steal money from the victim’s bank account.
“I think it’s wrong that you go inside someone’s personal mailbox and take their money they used to pay their bills,” said Orangeburg resident Natasha James. “Their intention is to pay their bills. So, when they are finding out that this stuff has been stolen, it might set them behind in their lights or their mortgages. I think it’s wrong.”
Several reports were taken regarding mail stolen in the western side of Orangeburg, in the North Road and Riverbank Drive areas, and in the eastern side of the county as well.
Authorities encourage you to place mail in your mailbox closer to the time of pickup, or just take it to the post office.
“I just wish they would stop stealing people’s hard-earned money that they are using to pay bills,” said James.
Anyone with information about the thieves is asked to call Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
Mail tampering is a federal offense that can result in a five-year sentence and a fine of up to $2,000. State charges also apply to altered financial instruments.