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Man recorded 'fishing' in slot as rent checks continue disappearing

Posted at 4:11 PM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 20:22:32-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Ring doorbell video could provide the break in the strange disappearance of rent checks in North Park.

A noise caused Ken Frederick to scramble from his home just past midnight Saturday, downstairs to his business, a property management company on 30th Street. He found junk mail - removed from his mailbox - coated with a sticky substance. He ended up near the front door and found a lone check that a tenant had dropped into the overnight mail slot.

He checked his surveillance video, which showed a man in a hoodie appearing to jam some sort of stick-like object into the mail slot, before he removes it and takes off.

"We feel violated, like someone coming into your home," said Frederick.

Frederick dug into his other Ring videos and found one from early last Wednesday morning. It appeared to be the same man, same hoodie, and same stick. This time, after he takes the stick out, he appears to put something in his pocket.

"If you know somebody's been in your business, it makes you feel insecure," said Frederick.

Frederick is checking with his tenants to see if any rent checks put in the slot have disappeared. Another property management company nearby tells 10News they have had about ten rent checks vanish since June.

As for the sticky substance, it's a familiar one. In the past year, 10News has reported on thieves 'fishing' checks with glue traps out of local postal collection boxes. The ink is then washed off with a chemical solution, allowing a thief to fill in the blanks.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call San Diego Police at 619-531-2000.

For renters, experts suggest either looking into online payments or making sure to drop off your rent during business hours.