Five people have been arrested in connection with an alleged scheme to steal mail, checks and personal information from USPS street posts throughout the Bronx, NBC 4 New York has learned.
Two more suspects are at large, and another is expected to voluntarily appear for arraignment later in the week.
Since late 2015 through January 2017, Brian Marte, 20, Erickson Batista, 24, Junior Taveras, 19, Angel Aristy, 18, Luis Rosado, 19, Eoscaterys Polanco, 23, Brayan Rodriguez, 23, and Ronardo Baez, 20, allegedly participated in the mail-stealing scheme using other people's debit cards.
Officials with the United States Postal Inspection Service say the defendants were brought to the 50th Precinct Wednesday. The eight defendants face charges including conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail theft and aggravated identity theft.
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Prosecutors say they found the suspects with more than $100,000 in stolen checks and money orders.
The round of arrests stems from crimes committed all over the west Bronx, officials said, including in Kingsbridge and Riverdale. Prosecutors say that since 2015 there have been over 50 arrests for mail theft in the Claremont Park area involving over $750,000 in stolen checks and money orders.
Officials say they responded to similar complaints on the Upper West Side some time ago and outfitted the neighborhoods with new mailboxes intended to prevent such scams. It has also been working to swap out boxes in the Bronx.