SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Investigators say a man and a woman are suspects in separate mail theft and forgery cases out of Fairburn.
Police told Channel 2’s Alyssa Hyman they were able to connect the two cases after her report on the issue last week, in which a victim said she was out $7,000 after strangers deposited a check she dropped off at a U.S. Postal Service mailbox.
Joyce Bergman saw the story and called police to tell them that her stolen $32,000 check was mailed at the same post office around the same date.
"I’m an attorney and I had written this check on my attorney trust account to some clients that live in north Georgia,” Bergman said. “I wasn't concerned until a little over a week later. I got a call from my actual client saying, ‘When are you going to send that check?’”
According to investigators, the duo took the woman’s check to a Brookhaven Wells Fargo on April 5, posing as her clients, with fake South Carolina IDs and fake credit cards.
They walked out with $32,000 in cash.
"Well, when I saw your story about Ms. Whitmore, I actually called and spoke briefly to her,” Bergman told Hyman.
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Bergman had already filed a report but said that once she saw Hyman’s previous report, she wondered if the cases were connected.
"It all fell into place that it’s the same people and probably the same evening. It was very frustrating,” Bergman said.
Fairburn police said they compared the surveillance photos from the two cases.
"Same suspects. It even looks like they’re wearing the same clothing,” Deputy Chief Anthony Bazydlo said.
Police now think the criminals may be fishing for the mail right out of the mailbox.
"They could be using something like a fly strip, where it’s got some type of sticky substance, maybe a couple of feet long, and they’re actually dipping it down into the mailbox,” Bazydlo said.
Police are warning people to be careful when sending checks via the Postal Service.
Bergman said the bank called her to verify the check and who it was made out to, but at the time, she had no reason to believe the people at the bank cashing the check were frauds.
Hyman contacted Wells Fargo, but a spokesperson said the company could not comment because the incident is now part of an ongoing investigation.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is also investigating the cases.
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