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Several property tax checks stolen from the same USPS blue postal box in Colorado

Several property tax checks stolen from the same same USPS blue postal box in Colorado
Several property tax checks stolen from the same same USPS blue postal box in Colorado 02:55

There is a new warning to anyone planning to use blue U.S. Postal Service collection boxes to send property tax payments. Jefferson County is asking residents to be mindful of check theft after officials say there have been at least a dozen instances of property tax payment checks being stolen out of those boxes.


It comes just days after CBS News Colorado reported about a Lakewood woman's loss of two checks totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the boxes at the post office on Alameda Avenue, the same location where many of the property tax checks were taken.

"We've gone to that set of boxes at the Federal Center for the last 40 years," Linda Chisholm said.

Chisholm and her husband, Jay, thought the boxes at the Denver Federal Center being on post office property meant an added layer of security.

"I don't know what we assumed; I think we thought someone was watching it, but they weren't," Linda added.

Three different property tax payments, three different checks, all were stolen but just one was washed and reused by thieves.

"It was $22,000; they did cash it, and they did take it out of our account," Jay said about the loss.

They are not alone. Drew Hodgson told CBS Colorado about the two checks she lost after using that same location.

"It was thousands and thousands of dollars, "Hodgson said.

Jefferson County Treasurer Jerry DiTullio says they are also tracking more than one dozen cases just like the Chisholms'. He worries, with another payment deadline fast approaching, the number of victims could grow.

"My fear is that people aren't going to hear this report, and they are going to drop that payment in the box," DiTullio said. The best way to do it is bring it in person or walk it inside and pay and give that to the clerk."

In April, they were hit as well. Surveillance video captured thieves making a late-night attempt to break in their drop box.

It has now been removed.

"We haven't had this problem in the past, it seems like there's an uptick in problems with USPS boxes being breeched," DiTullio added.

The Chisholm's are working with their bank to try and get the money back, they and are hopeful they can recoup what they've lost.

"It's overwhelming, and it's very -- it's stressful," Linda Chisholm said.

The United States Postal Service says it's hardening its blue postal boxes across the country, and 10,000 collection boxes have been upgraded so far in high security risk areas.

CBS Colorado asked about removing or even warning consumers that they are not secure and have not heard back.

USPS recommends using certified mail or taking your letters inside the post office to avoid leaving them sitting overnight.

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