Police Bust Four Men for Mailbox Fishing in Greenwich

Hassane A Togo. July 30, 2019 Photo courtesy Greenwich Police Dept

Amadou Diallo. July 30, 2019 Photo courtesy Greenwich Police Dept

Mohamed D Bah. July 30, 2019 Photo courtesy Greenwich Police Dept

Mohamed M Bah. July 30, 2019 Photo courtesy Greenwich Police Dept

On Monday morning about 2:50am Greenwich Police stopped a car in Riverside that was driving without headlights on.

The car was occupied by four men who were in possession of other people’s mail.

Investigation turned up a device that is commonly used to unlawfully take mail from postal boxes.

Arrested were Mohamed M Bah, 21, of Bronx, NY; Mohamed D Bah, 20, of Southfield Ave in Stamford, Amadou Diallo, 19, of Southfield Ave in Stamford; and Hassane A Togo, 20, of Bronx, NY.

The men were charged with Possession of Burglar Tools, Larceny 6, Criminal Attempt at ID Theft 3 and Conspiracy.

Mohamed M Bah was also charged with Interfering with an Officer after he provided misleading information about himself and a false name in an attempt to hide his identity.

Bond for each of the men was set at $10,000 and all share a date in Stamford Superior Court on August 12, 2019.

A blue bin mail box on Greenwich Avenue. File photo

Back in March Greenwich experienced a rash of mail thefts from mailboxes, both residential and the blue Postal Service street collection boxes. The trend is a regional one that includes neighboring towns in Fairfield County and New York City.

The term “mailbox fishing,” describes thieves who take a string and attach a glue trap for mice or something sticky, drop it into the mail box and pull mail out. Police say thieves look for checks they can forge by replacing the payee’s name with their own. They also change dollar amounts. This is called “check washing.”

Greenwich Police Captain Kraig Gray said police investigate instances of mailbox fishing but it is under the authority of the Postal Service. “We can arrest these people on local charges, and US Postal Service can bring about federal charges that are different from ours. But they have to be different,” Gray said back in March.

Police have advised that to avoid being victim of mailbox fishing, residents can bring their outgoing mail inside the post office, or avoid putting it in their mailboxes until just before the mail carrier is scheduled to arrive.