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Multiple Mailboxes Broken Into In Northlake, Police Say

NORTHLAKE, Ill. (CBS) -- Police in Northlake said Monday that three mailboxes in the western suburb were broken into in recent days.

The mailboxes are located at the U.S. Post Office, U.S. Bank, and City Hall parking lot in Northlake, police said. A city-owned white mailbox used to drop off residential water bills and other payments was also broken into, police said.

The exact time of the break-ins is not known, but it appears they occurred after 4:30 p.m. on Christmas Day Saturday, police said.

Anyone who deposited mail into any of the boxes after 4:30 p.m. Christmas Day is asked to contact Northlake police and make a report.

In recent months, multiple suburbs have been hit with thefts targeting blue mailboxes. In Park Ridge, it has happened multiple times.

In the most recent incident, Park Ridge police said an officer was conducting a "premise check" of the post office around 12:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 8, and spotted three mail collection boxes outside the building had been pried open, and the mail inside had been stolen.

All three collection boxes recently had been replaced, according to police.

Earlier in the fall, CBS 2 uncovered a pattern of mail theft and check fraud at the Park Ridge post office.

Court records say a Dolton man somehow got hold of a postal key and used it to steal from a blue mailbox outside the Park Ridge Post Office. He was arrested in September, but police said they are still investigating.

But even that arrest was not enough to stop the crimes.

Meanwhile, back in September, we reported not just on the thefts, but the rusty condition of the mailboxes in Park Ridge that left letters exposed to the elements and whatever else. The postal service replaced the boxes after that report.

CBS 2 later discovered mail thefts happened in three other suburbs besides Park Ridge—from the south to the north—all over the course of a few days in early November. Someone forced open blue boxes not just in Park Ridge--but in Palos Park, Mount Prospect, and Prospect Heights; all over the course of about eight days in early November.

And in Lincolnwood, a CBS 2 report revealed 18 people had checks altered after mailing them in the past year.

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