Columbia man faces 198 charges for stealing checks from mailboxes in Lancaster County

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A Columbia, Lancaster County man is facing nearly 200 felony and misdemeanor charges after he allegedly stole, altered, and cashed checks from people’s mailboxes.

Police say John Adamczak began stealing from mailboxes in December of 2014.

“I came in and told my wife, I think someone stole our mail,” said Bill Ehleiter, a victim.

Ehleiter says he knew something was up when he checked his mailbox on President’s Day.

"It had snowed the night before and I went out to shovel the driveway and when I got out to the mailbox I saw the mailbox door hanging open which was unusual and the flag was up," said Ehleiter.

Ehleiter says Adamczak tried to cash about $800. But, it was caught before the checks went through.

Court documents show in one case Adamczak changed a check for $25 to $1,200. He would change the names on the checks to whomever he could find to cash them. In all, police say he stole from mailboxes in 10 townships and tried to cash about $65,000.

Raymond Stoehr was shocked when he found out it wasn't just him.

"We called East Hempfield then we started finding out that West Hempfield already had an investigation on going and it just got broader and broader," said Stoehr.

He wants everyone to think twice about putting a check in their mailbox.

"Now nothing goes in the mailbox, everything goes to the post office," said Stoehr.

Court documents show that some of the people that Adamczak had cash checks are facing charges, too.

If you have a case you'd like to report you can call the East Lampeter Township police at (717) 291-4676.

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