One New York City man, while many Americans still wait to receive theirs, was taking as many stimulus checks as he could. According to reports, the man was arrested after he allegedly stole $12,000 worth of stimulus checks from the mailboxes of local residents.
Feng Chen, 31, from New York City was arrested earlier this week for allegedly stealing nine coronavirus stimulus checks worth more than $12,000 from mailboxes, according to federal prosecutors. Chen was discovered by police when they caught him looking inside mailboxes in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Chen also was seen searching inside a medical-collection bin looking at mail left at a door. After leaving a different building with what appeared to be items from mailboxes, Chen spotted NYC police officers and “tossed the mail on the sidewalk,” prosecutors say. Once he was apprehended by police, he was discovered to have “more than $12,000, credit cards, opened envelopes and letters bearing the names of various individuals and mail addresses.
“Eastern District Attorney Richard Donoghue said this about Chen’s arrest:
“For many families, these stimulus checks are a lifeline in these difficult times and anyone who tries to cut that lifeline will face the full weight of the law. This Office will vigorously prosecute all those who seek to take advantage of the public health crisis.”
Chen made his first court appearance earlier this week via video conference—and he is charged with mail theft and faces up to five years in prison.