$100,000 reward for info that busts fake postal worker

This mail thief is dressing up like a postal worker in the Loop, officials say. (U.S. Postal Inspection Service)

CHICAGO — Do you need a quick $100,000? All you need to do is figure out who this phony mail carrier is, and the cash could be yours.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering the bounty for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the scammer. They say he dons a U.S. Postal Service uniform and steals mail while pretending to be making his rounds in downtown Chicago.

He targets both residential and commercial buildings in the Loop, and he’s been doing it since December.

If you have information that could help authorities get him off the streets, contact the postal inspection 24-hour hotline at 877-876-2455. The case number is 4142062.

Dressing up in USPS uniform parts is not a new tactic for Chicago’s seemingly endless supply of mail thieves. We published a surveillance picture of another mail thief who did the same thing in Lincoln Park in 2022.

“He was trying to play it off like he was looking to place mail in one of our boxes … walked in with an empty bag, wearing a USPS jacket, COVID mask, red and black hat, reeked of weed,” said a CWB reader who crossed paths with the thief.

So far, no arrests have been announced in that case.

Stolen mail is used in a variety of ways, including identity theft. In one tricky scheme known as “check washing,” criminals use common chemicals to erase ink on stolen checks, then write the check for a large sum. The fraudulent checks are then either cashed or sold online.

Crime rings also use personal information gleaned from stolen mail to open credit card accounts and commit identity theft.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com