If the mailbox bandit(s) is/are ever apprehended, he/she/they will be headed to federal court.
Lieutenant Don Wakeman of the Wilton Police Department said Tuesday that while the department will continue its investigation and work with local post office officials, the case is now taking on a bigger profile.
"At this point, we're still working on a daily basis with the USPS and numerous investigators with various banks," Wakeman said. "We actually met with the U.S. Attorney's office and the office is going to take on this case. Officially, it is now a federally investigated case. Any charges that comes of this will be federal charges. We're now an assisting agency."
There are now 33 confirmed victims of the mail fraud racket that has resulted in 41 altered checks worth slightly over $80,000. An additional ten victims have checks that are unaccounted for, worth an additional $28,000, bringing the .
"Some victims, themselves, aren't even aware of it until we [the police department] learn of it from the banks and call to inform them," Wakeman said.
Wakeman added that still the "vast majority" of the victims are reporting that they put their mail in the outside drop boxes at the Wilton Post Office and most mailed the checks in the first half of April.
No other area towns have received reports of similar incidents, but Wakeman did acknowledge that the problem may not be isolated within Wilton. He said the police department and post office officials are both working with numerous banks throughout Connecticut and New York, where the falsified checks have been used to open as many as 20 fraudulent bank accounts.
"We're following up on some leads that were developed with the postal inspector," Wakeman said. "There are other similar typed incidents in other areas of the Northeast. We continue to develop that information and we're hopeful that it's going to lead us to a suspect...our investigation has expanded, but there's still a great deal more to do."
No employees of the Wilton Post Office have yet been implicated.