By Ralph Iannotti

Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Sources tell KDKA-TV News that thieves are targeting blue mail collection boxes — like the boxes outside the East Liberty post office.

There used to be four of them on Broad Street, outside the East Liberty post office, but one of them was removed on Thursday after the scam was discovered.

Someone placed double-sided sticky tape inside all the boxes; apparently wanting to do some mail collecting on their own terms. There was so much adhesive in one mailbox, it was removed.

“I wish they would take their brain energy and use it for something good,” said Christopher Spann, who was mailing letters Thursday night at the East Liberty location.

Presumably, the person who put the tape and glue in the mailbox was hoping to return at a later date so they could retrieve any letters that got stuck.

Since the sticky tape would prevent at least some of the mail from going down the chute, it’s assumed if the crook who put the tape in the mailbox would get lucky, he could find some cash or a gift card in one of the envelopes.

Michael Black, of Homewood, reacted to the news about the possible scam, saying, “Nothing, nothing surprises me no more, you know… but that’s life, man.”

“[The mail fishing] shows ingenuity, but I mean, if you applied that to something positive, just think of the money you could make legally,” Spann said.

Police in Patterson, N.J., are investigating a similar potential mail theft incident involving an unknown number of letter boxes in that city, as well.