HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — News13 was the first to report on Monday about outside drop boxes in Horry County being wrapped up because of alleged vandalism.

Rick Grigas, who nearly lost $5,000 because of it, said whoever stole his checks used them to make a fake passport ID. This person then went to his bank and withdrew $5,000 without the bank asking any questions.

“I get the feeling it happens from time to time, I don’t know how common it is but the bank is familiar with it,” Grigas said.

Grigas had two checks stolen from the outside drop box at the Socastee post office. He immediately went to the post office to get his money back and figure out who did it.

He said they told him the alleged suspect pulled his home address and routing and account number from his checks to create a fake passport ID.

“If the bank had been more diligent about giving the money out, I mean,” Grigas said. “He took money from a branch that I never go to. They only ask for one form of ID, and the person wanted to take out $5,000 in cash.”

The United States Postal Service leads these types of investigations. Grigas said the bank has the alleged suspect on surveillance.

News13 reached out to the U.S. Postal Service on Thursday to ask if it had the footage, and it said “please be assured that the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is focused on investigating those who steal the U.S. mail and bringing them to justice.”

News13 checked one of the post offices in Horry County for any exterior cameras but did not see any. The U.S. Postal Service said it uses a variety of investigation tools though.

When the U.S. Postal Service was asked if post office buildings have exterior surveillance cameras that face toward the drop boxes, it said it’s not familiar with the exact post office, so it doesn’t know.

Grigas said the postal inspector is aware of his situation and he’s hoping for a resolution.

“It’s a federal crime and I’d like to see them caught because I don’t want to see anyone else go through this,” he said.

While this isn’t connected to other incidents around the country, it isn’t the first drop box to be damaged. Similar incidents have happened in places like Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia. The U.S. Postal Service said in May they’ve seen an increase in these incidents.

“It just seems so sad, you have to be so vigilant these days,” Grigas said. “It’s anytime you turn around, you can be the victim of a crime. It’s terrible.”

The U.S. Postal Service told News13 on Thursday it could not provide any details about the investigation. It still advises anyone sending mail to drop it off in the inside lobby.

Adrianna Lawrence is a multimedia journalist at News13. Adrianna is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and joined the News13 team in June 2023 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023. Keep up with Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also read more of her work, here.