West Hartford

West Hartford Police Warn of Spike in Check Thefts

West Hartford Police are warning residents to be cautious amid an increase in check thefts.

Officials said they've received several complaints reporting that checks have been stolen or altered to reflect much larger amounts. This type of crime is often referred to as "check washing."

Police say "check washing" happens when the ink on a check is removed by chemicals and a different amount and receiver are added.

Some people have reported leaving mail at drop boxes at local USPS locations. West Hartford Police said they've investigated a previous theft from a local post office where the thieves used custom-made tools to retrieve the mail.

Officials are recommending that mail be dropped off during business hours to try and prevent these types of theft. They also say checks shouldn't be left in household mailboxes for letter carriers to pick up.

If you're mailing a check, police advise you to check your bank account often, looking for any suspicious behavior. People should also look out for any late notices from a creditor expecting payment - police say this may be the first sign of a stolen check.

Detectives are investigating these thefts. The Postal Inspector and Postal Police are also involved, authorities said.

No arrests have been made at this time.

Anyone who thinks they may have been affected by this type of crime is asked to contact police at 860-523-5203.