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It was around noon on April 12.
Josefina Gomez Pando, 83, dropped a check for $112 into a blue mailbox on a corner on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Then she proceeded to her doctor's appointment.
Her check would never make it to the mailman.
That's because someone else, most likely using a sticky rat trap attached to the end of a string, fished her check right back out of that mailbox.
And then they wrote a new one for $3,500.
"I pay all my bills by mail — around 30 checks a month," said Pando, who owns three buildings in New York City. "This never happened to me."
"Mail fishing" is when people use tools to retrieve envelopes out of the blue mailboxes lining the streets, and it's on the rise, according to law enforcement officials.