Four charged in Kettering mailbox check thefts

A driver drops mail off at the drop boxes in front of the Stroop Road Post Office in Kettering on Wednesday March 30, 2022. Four men, one from Dayton, were recently charged with a string of check thefts from U.S. Postal Service mailboxes in Kettering. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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A driver drops mail off at the drop boxes in front of the Stroop Road Post Office in Kettering on Wednesday March 30, 2022. Four men, one from Dayton, were recently charged with a string of check thefts from U.S. Postal Service mailboxes in Kettering. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Police reported multiple thefts from mailboxes outside local USPS branches.

A Dayton man is one of four people facing charges for what Kettering police describe as a string of check thefts from U.S. Postal Service mailboxes.

Michael E. George, of Cincinnati, Craig A. Ross, of Dayton, Brittany L. Kinder and Daniel L. Yates, both of Newport, Ky., all face charges, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records.

They are suspected of stealing and passing about 30 checks totaling around $100,000 last year, Kettering Det. Vince Mason said.

Mason said Wednesday that police think the four defendants were working together.

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“Most of them were hitting the same bank on the same day,” he said. They were “coming in one after the other.”

A similar rash of check thefts from mailboxes has occurred in Kettering and Oakwood this year and suspects in those cases are still being sought, officials said.

George, 64, and Ross, 29, are charged with forgery and theft, while Kinder, 30, and Yates, 26, face grand theft and forgery charges, court records show.

All of the defendants were indicted March 8 and are scheduled for arraignment April 5, according to court documents. The crimes occurred between June 2 and July 10, 2021, records show.

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Kettering police began investigating reports of check theft in July 2021 after checks totaling $24,000 were fraudulently altered and cashed in the region.

Those cases involved about 15 victims who dropped checks in outdoor mailboxes at the Forrer Boulevard and East Stroop Road post offices in Kettering, Mason said earlier.

The Kettering stolen checks ranged from $1,625 to $2,210, according to Mason. He said the suspects took the checks, changed the name of the payee and the amount of money the checks were written for, and were then able to cash the checks.

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