On Monday two suspects were arrested in Poughkeepsie, New York after police say they were caught stealing mail. It's become an all too common problem across the state and one that everyone needs to protect themselves from.

After receiving reports of missing checks, the Town of Poughkeepsie police launched an investigation into the possibility of individuals stealing from mailboxes. During a stakeout of one mailbox on Raymond Avenue, police say they witnessed two individuals gain access to the box. The suspects allegedly just walked up to the box at three in the afternoon and helped themselves to what could have been your personal information, birthday money or a check that could be used to empty your bank account.

Mail Poughkeepsie New York

How are Thieves Stealing Mail in New York?

It was not revealed how the two suspects allegedly gained access to the postal mailbox on Monday, but they most likely just opened it up with a key. There has been an increase in cases of mail carriers being robbed of their box keys. These master keys are used to open public mailboxes to retrieve mail.

In February of 2023 two men approached a mail carrier in the City of Poughkeepsie and threatened him. They allegedly made off with the box key in the middle of the day after the postal worker feared for his safety and handed it over. Another incident, not far from the same location, occurred in October. Police say two men restrained another mail carrier and stole their box key, again, in the middle of the day.

One of the two men suspected of stealing mail this week is believed to have been involved in yet another violent incident against a postal worker in August. That robbery happened at Vassar Gardens in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

Hudson Valley New York

How to Protect Yourself From Having Your Mail Stolen

In recent years the post office has replaced mailboxes throughout the Hudson Valley with new ones that they described as "theft proof". The large opening was replaced with a thin slot that prevented "mailbox fishing" where thieves would put tape at the end of a string and pull out envelopes.

Frustrated with the inability to fish checks out of mailboxes, thieves have apparently moved on stealing keys so they can just access the boxes whenever they like.

The best way to protect yourself from having your mail stolen is to simply avoid using public mailboxes. If you have something important to send out, it's best to go directly to the nearest post office and mail it inside. Unfortunately, the postal service has begun shutting down many local post offices, so taking a trip to mail out your bills is not as convenient as it once was.

The easiest way to avoid mail theft is to pay your bills online whenever possible. This avoids the possibility of your check being stolen and "washed", which can lead to your entire account being drained. Credit card theft is very unlikely when using an encrypted website. And even if it does occur, you won't be responsible for the charges.

Poughkeepsie New York Mail

Police Identify Postal Thieves Identities

According to the Town of Poughkeepsie Police, Jasiyah N. Shabeleh and Raheem Angus have both been charged with several counts of possessing stolen property. The two 25-year-olds face multiple felony charges. Shabeleh is a suspect in the August attack of a postal worker after items from that robbery were discovered in his possession. Police say they discovered stolen mail and over 100 stolen checks valued at $130,000 in the suspects' possession.

Ridiculous Laws in New York State

Believe it or not, these are some of the dumbest, stupidest, and most ridiculous rules in all of New York State.

Gallery Credit: Dan McGuire

11 of The Funniest Road Names in The Hudson Valley

Gallery Credit: Nick Kessler