KENT COUNTY, Mich. — A man is facing federal charges after investigators say he stole checks out of mailboxes and altered them for his own gain.
In a federal court filing, it is alleged that 43-year-old Gregory Warren Wade found an envelope containing a check for $173.72 in a mailbox outside of a residential home in early April of this year.
They say he stole the piece of mail and altered the check inside so that it appeared to be for $873.72. He then cashed it at a Grand Rapids-area Huntington Bank into his own account.
United States Postal inspectors were tipped off to Wade’s activities by a detective with Walker police that was investigating the incident in April. Investigators wrote in their criminal complaint that Wade had previously been indicted and convicted on charges of mail theft and bank fraud back in 2006.
Shortly after joining the investigation, the Postal Inspectors were able to secure surveillance footage from the day the stolen check was cashed. They were able to identify who they believe was Gregory Wade depositing the check in question.
In early May, Inspectors say they identified Wade with another stolen check. They believe he took a check written for $395.69 out of a another residential mailbox, altered it to appear as if it was for $895.69 and then deposited it into his account at a Lake Michigan Credit Union.
They were able to get surveillance images of this check being deposited as well, writing in court filings that they believe the subject “clearly looks like Gregory Warren Wade.”
Wade is facing up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.