Have Your Noticed Those Weird New Mailboxes? Here’s Why They Changed

The crime is deceptively simple and maddeningly effective.

Thieves, often at night, use string to lower glue-covered rodent traps or bottles coated with an adhesive down the chute of a sidewalk mailbox. This bait attaches to the envelopes inside, and the fish in this case — mail containing gift cards, money orders or checks, which can be altered with chemicals and cashed — are reeled out slowly.

This low-tech crime, which became common in the Bronx, is known as mail fishing.

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Adriana Balsamo