Man arrested for stealing hundreds of checks from Columbus mailboxes

Cody Beasley

This time of year, many of us are doing our holiday shopping, putting cards and letters in the mail.

Some of those letters probably have gift cards and checks inside. You may want to be careful about what mailbox you use.

The postal inspector says a 19-year-old man was stealing checks from mailboxes and cashing them.

Mark Blanchard sent a $300 check to his son in Oregon to help pay for a move.

“We didn't hear from him that he received it. I received an alert from my bank that the check had been cashed,” Blanchard said.

He looked up the cashed check image on his bank account and was shocked at what he saw.

“When I opened up the image, it was made out to an individual I had never heard of, and for $1,000,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard says his bank told him these types of thefts are happening a lot lately.

“When I went into the branch, the associate I spoke with indicated they encountered the same problem with a number of other customers of theirs,” Blanchard said.

Police arrested 19-year-old Cody Beasley with bank fraud, stealing mail and forging checks from August to November. It's unclear if he's connected to Blanchard's theft.

Whitehall police saw Beasley at a bank ATM and arrested him. That's when police say they found more than 200 stolen checks on Beasley. When they searched his apartment, they found 500 bank checks in various names, thousands of dollars, a shotgun and a handgun.

“I hope they can throw the book at him. Maybe that will send the message,” Blanchard said.

The postal inspector says the best way you can protect yourself against this type of fraud is to take any letters with checks inside the branch to prevent people from stealing them from the outside boxes.