Gun, postal service master key, checks, and IDs found during Chicago traffic stop, officials say

CHICAGO — A seemingly routine police investigation of a car bearing a fake temporary registration led Chicago police to recover a firearm, a U.S. Postal Service master key, credit cards, and three cashier’s checks for “substantially large” amounts of money issued to other people, officials say.

Cops spotted a 2004 Lexus in the 6200 block of South Yale last Wednesday afternoon and noticed that its license plate was simply a piece of paper stating, “Indiana temporary registration,” according to a CPD arrest report.

Adam Davis, 22, of Gary, was alone in the car with a bullet on his lap, the report said. He explained to the officers that he is licensed to carry a firearm in Indiana and that the bullet was on his lap because he had unloaded his gun, the report continued.

The police said they recovered a handgun and two ammunition magazines from the rear passenger floor.

Once Davis was in custody, they searched his vehicle and found a postal service master key on his car key ring and several baggies of suspected marijuana, according to the arrest report.

Adam Davis (Chicago Police Department)

In the car’s center console, police allegedly found three cashier’s checks issued in three different names. Two of the checks were issued for $24,900 each, according to a criminal complaint filed against Davis.

His arrest report said his wallet contained his personal ID and debit cards, a credit card in a woman’s name, an Indiana driver’s license in another man’s name, and a fraudulent Illinois ID bearing his picture with another man’s name.

CPD’s inventory records say police also recovered an envelope with Social Security numbers written on it.

Prosecutors charged Davis with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possessing burglary tools, possessing a fraudulent ID, possessing an unauthorized registration, forgery, and possession of 85 grams of cannabis.

Judge Maryam Ahmad released him to await trial.

The origins of the master key, checks, and IDs that Davis allegedly had remain to be seen. However, similar arrests have become increasingly common in Chicago.

Highly organized identity theft and fraud organizations have been using stolen postal service master keys, called “arrow keys,” to steal large volumes of mail from public mailboxes and residential building mailrooms across Chicago.

Mail thieves are part of a larger criminal enterprise involving identity theft and fraud. In one tricky scam, the theft rings 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.

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