Police and federal authorities are investigating multiple reports of stolen mail involving fraud after numerous mailboxes were pried open in Barrington.
Barrington Police Detective Sergeant Allsteadt announced that the department received multiple reports of stolen mail at both of the village’s post offices.
The first reported incidents happened on December 13 at the United States Postal Service at 106 Barrington Commons Court and at a standalone mailbox on the north side of town.
The outdoor mailbox at the post office and the standalone mailbox were reportedly pried open and the mail was taken, Allsteadt said.
The most recent incident occurred in the first week of the new year.
Since then, police have received seven reports of stolen mail involving fraud.
The Barrington Police Department is working with federal authorities to investigate.
Allsteadt offered the following tips to residents:
- Mail should be dropped off at the post office before the last pickup of the day.
- Mail should be taken inside the post office and deposited in a secure location.
- Residents should pay bills online whenever possible and use secure transaction services like Venmo or Zelle when sending money instead of mailing checks.
Residents who are the victim of mail theft should contact the Barrington Police Department.
Additionally, the department said that multiple residents received a scam phone call from a subject claiming to be an officer with the Barrington Police Department on January 24.
Allsteadt told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that police believe the stolen mail incidents and scam phone calls are not related.
The subject, who is not a police officer, told residents that court was missed or a warrant for their arrest was issued in federal court, Allsteadt said.
The subject stated that money in the form of gift cards must be given to avoid arrest.
“On one occasion, a large sum of money was paid to this offender in the form of gift cards,” Allsteadt said.
“Please be aware that the police department would never call and ask for money over the phone. If the subjects ask for payments in the form of gift cards, it is a scam,” Allsteadt added.