A Brentwood man who used shoestring and a rat adhesive trap to steal checks from U.S. Postal Service mailboxes, including some worth more than $50,000, was sentenced Tuesday to one to three years in prison, said Queens acting District Attorney John M. Ryan.
Travis Everett, 26, who also is known as Lamont Everett, pleaded guilty in October to second-degree criminal possession of stolen property, Ryan said in a statement. Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry S. Kron sentenced Everett Tuesday to prison.
Everett is scheduled to be sentenced in a separate case in Manhattan Supreme Court on Jan. 8, after he pleaded guilty Nov. 6 to first-degree identity theft and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, officials said. In the Manhattan case, he faces up to three years in prison which will run concurrent with Everett’s sentencing in Queens, officials said.
Officials said in the Queens case, Everett was spotted shortly after 1:30 a.m. on a monitored NYPD live video feed on Nov. 8, 2018, placing an object inside a mailbox, pulling a string and removing mail from a mailbox in Rego Park.
Everett repeated this process several times over five minutes, officials said. When he was caught by police and questioned, he claimed to have dropped his keys in the mailbox.
Authorities said Everett had two batteries attached to a rat adhesive trap with a shoe string. Police also found four pieces of mail on the floor of Everett’s vehicle, 32 checks in the glove compartment and 314 checks inside the vehicle’s trunk, officials said.
The recovered checks totaled more than $300,000, prosecutors said. Two of the recovered checks were written out for $41,202 and $52,639, and had been mailed from Fresh Meadows, Queens, authorities said.
Everett’s lawyer could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
“This defendant made a business out of mailbox fishing. Using rat glue traps and shoe strings, he reeled in hundreds of pieces of mail containing checks endorsed for tens of thousands of dollars. … This kind of brazen thievery is unacceptable and after admitting to his crimes, the defendant is going to prison,” Ryan said in a statement.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement the safest way to mail checks or important documents is by walking them to the post office. He reminded New Yorkers to “vigilantly monitor their account activity and report any unauthorized transactions both to their bank and to our Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft hotline at (212) 335-9600.”