Court docs: Man who delivered newspapers stole checks from Greenwood mailboxes
GREENWOOD, Ind. – A man who delivered newspapers to Greenwood neighborhoods faces charges after authorities say he stole mail from mailboxes.
Charles G. Ferguson, 32, faces charges of forgery and conversion in connection with the case. According to court documents, the Greenwood Police Department received five reports of thefts from mailboxes in a subdivision between July 12, 2017, and July 21, 2017.
The stolen mail included items containing checks that never made it to their intended recipients and a Panera Bread rewards card. The checks were cashed, with Ferguson listed as the payee. He had electronically deposited the stolen checks, court documents said.
People who’d written the checks provided copies to police showing that Ferguson had changed them. The money was deposited into a Fifth Third bank account belonging to Ferguson and his wife.
Investigators said Ferguson delivered newspapers for the Daily Journal; the subdivision was on his delivery route. One of the theft victims set up a security camera, which captured a single vehicle dropping by the mailbox for about 10 seconds before mail disappeared.
Investigators went to Ferguson’s home, where they found several bags of trash sitting on the curb. A search turned up an open envelope with the return address of a woman who lived in the subdivision. The envelope didn’t have a postmark. The woman said she’d sent a greeting card with a $100 check. While the intended recipient never got the check, Ferguson had cashed it.
In late July, police interviewed Ferguson, who admitted to the thefts. He said he’d started in the last month and used mobile banking or ATMs to deposit checks electronically. He had the stolen Panera Bread card in the center console of his car, police said.
Ferguson told police he looked for mailboxes with their flags up and stole envelopes looking for checks to deposit. He said he did it because his family was struggling with money and was living off payday loans, according to court documents.
Investigators obtained photos of Ferguson depositing a check at a Greenwood bank. During a subsequent interview, Ferguson provided details about many of the stolen checks, again telling police that he was trying to help his family by getting extra money.
He “also stated he knew he did it and knew he was wrong,” court documents said.
Court documents showed Ferguson stole 33 pieces of mail. More than two dozen of them contained checks that were deposited electronically into his checking account.