(WFRV) – Two men believed to be tied to multiple stolen check incidents across northeast Wisconsin were arrested in Manitowoc County after a months-long investigation.

According to the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office, two men from Chicago were arrested for allegedly stealing checks from businesses. Back in early December, the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office got multiple complaints of mail theft, specifically from the industrial park in the Village of Greenville.

Authorities say the suspects were targeting businesses and stealing incoming and outgoing checks from the mailboxes. This primarily happened during the overnight hours on the weekends.

The checks would then reportedly be altered, duplicated and fraudulent cashed into different bank accounts across the country. The investigation showed the stolen checks were either cashed to ride to be cashed via online mobile deposit or at ATM locations.

In total, the amount of stolen checks just from the industrial park in Greenville alone reportedly surpassed $500,000. Authorities determined that other agencies in northeast Wisconsin were investigating similar incidents.

On February 5, the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office did a traffic stop on I-43. The people inside the vehicle were identified as Derrell Edwards and Dionta Bratcher. Both were reportedly from Chicago.

A search of the vehicle resulted in 61 stolen checks that totaled over $121,000. Authorities say the checks were confirmed to be stolen primarily from businesses in Brown County.

Both Brachter and Edwards face more charges in other jurisdictions. Authorities believe there are other suspects associated with this investigation.

Some tips were provided to help provide businesses from falling victim to mail thefts:

  • Take checks directly to a USPS collection
  • Sign up for Informed Delivery through USPS
  • Request for mail not to be delivered on weekends
  • Install a USPS-approved lockable mailbox
  • Install CCTV systems to deter criminal activity

No additional information was provided. Local 5 will update this story if more details are released.