Last month, a burglary occurred at the Idyllwild Post Office, though postal officials would not elaborate about everything that may have been taken or even how it occurred.

But one of the victims, Barbara Maring, wrote to the Town Crier about how the incident has affected her and her husband.

They had written checks to three companies, including Verizon. Saturday evening, Oct. 20, they mailed the checks with the statements to the vendors. The envelopes were put into the outgoing slot inside the local Post Office.

A few weeks later, while her husband was reconciling the bank statement, he discovered a check for $1,800 to someone they did not recognize. Working with Jeri Sue Haney, manager of the local BBVA branch, where the Marings had their account, they learned that their $85 payment to Verizon had been changed to $1,800 and Chase Bank in Hemet cashed it at the bank window.

Since then, she said, “We had to close our bank account, which meant setting up automatic deposits and payments with a new account. No small task. We are still waiting to be reimbursed by Chase Bank for our loss.”

They have been told that all three envelopes that contained their checks were torn open and found at Lawler Lodge, north of Pine Cove.

No one has explained how the thief or thieves got into the Post Office, and how they selected what mail to steal.

Earlier this month, Sgt. Kenneth Reichle of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department advised anyone who may have mailed a check the weekend of Oct. 20 and 21 to verify that it has cleared their checking account.

If it has not, consider canceling payment and speaking to the bank about a new account. Missing checks would have both the account number and routing number, which could be used to access the account or make false charges.

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