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June 18, 2013

Gloucester mailman accused of stealing debit card and pin, then spending $4,000

A mail carrier accused of stealing a debit card from a business on his mail route, then using the card to withdraw close to $4,000 from the company’s account over the course of a month, was arrested Friday while delivering mail on Sargent Street.

Vuthin Chroek, the accused 30-year-old Lynn man, admitted to the charges of larceny over $250, larceny of the card itself, and fraudulently using the credit card in an interview with detective, police said.

“He stated that he had seen this stuff on TV and just knew what to do,” Detective Thomas Quinn wrote in the report. “He knew it was a debit or credit card after feeling it (in the envelope). He also noticed a separate mailing for the same address from the same bank and knew it to include a pin number.”

The stolen card had been sent to 18 Sargent St. LLC, the Sargent Street company that owns CleanPro as well as storage facilities and other businesses. The company had expected to receive four cards and the related pin numbers to arrive in separate envelopes, but only three cards and three pins were delivered, then bank statements showed that $3,965 had been withdrawn on the fourth card.

Police knew early on that whoever was using the card must have had access to the mail, as the card and its pin number were mailed on separate days.

“The person who took it would need access to the mail in order to match the correct pin to debit card,” Quinn wrote in the report.

Chroek was working as a “floating” mail carrier within the U.S. Postal Service system, filling in for other mail carriers when they take vacation or sick leave and sorting the route’s mail inside the post office, when he allegedly stole the card and pin number, according to police. A check of postal employee records confirmed that Chroek was working the route that includes Sargent Street during the time frame when the card was stolen and had access to the mail sorting, too.

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