On Wednesday Yonkers police alerted the public about a rash of recent mailbox thefts in the city. A day later, a pre-dawn stakeout netted the arrests of three men who police said were caught fishing for mail.
Bronx residents Max Enrique Amparo, Edgardo Rodriguez and Luis Felipe Cruz-Valerio were arrested while trying to steal from a mailbox and postal relay box near 490 S. Broadway around 4:00 a.m. Thursday, police said in a press release today.
Undercover officers were conducting surveillance because of recent mailbox thefts in the area, according to police, who on Wednesday released surveillance video of recent mailbox thefts in the neighborhood around Yonkers Avenue.
Yonkers police and inspectors from the U.S. Postal Service are investigating if Amparo, Rodriguez and Cruz-Valerio are the suspects seen on the surveillance footage, and if the trio is responsible for other recent mail thefts.
Police said the three men were loitering near the mailbox and relay box near the corner of South Broadway and Lawrence Street on Thursday when the trio started tampering with the boxes. The men tried to pry open the doors and tried to fish, or pull out mail through the deposit slot, police said.
The men were arrested and found with stolen and unauthorized checks, as well as items commonly used to fish for mail, police said.
All three men were charged with felony counts of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and third-degree criminal mischief. They were arraigned in Yonkers City Court and are due back on May 25.
Amparo, 26, and Cruz-Valerio, 21, are being held at the Westchester County jail on $7,500 bail. Rodriguez, 25, is being held on $25,000 bail.