Crooks steal rent payments out of Pasco apartment complex drop b - WNEM TV 5

Crooks steal rent payments out of Pasco apartment complex drop boxes

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Angelica Shaw and Juan Delgadillo tell Shannon Behnken that someone stole their rent check after they deposited it in their apartment's drop box. Angelica Shaw and Juan Delgadillo tell Shannon Behnken that someone stole their rent check after they deposited it in their apartment's drop box.
PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - If you pay your rent using a drop box, you might want to come up with a new plan for paying.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office says a ring of crooks are targeting area apartment complexes and stealing the rent checks right out of the rent boxes. And, if that happens to you, your apartment complex may try to require you to pay the rent again.

Angelica Shaw and her finance, Juan, paid their rent on time, but now they face eviction anyway. That's because after they dropped a money order in bay point apartment's drop box, someone stole it.

"We barely make it as it is," she said. "We can't afford to pay the rent again."

Shaw says she's used the drop box at her Port Richey apartment, Bay Point Apartments for three years and never had a problem. But now, she says apartment management informed her that several rent checks were stolen and she has to repay the money. When she didn't, she found an eviction notice at her door.

"It's horrible, " she said.

Shaw says Bay Point requires tenants to pay with a money order, and she bought hers at Amscot. Employees there were able to track it down. It was cashed, and another name was written in where the apartment name is supposed to be.

Sgt. Justin Ross of the Pasco County Sheriff's office, says Bay Point isn't alone.

"Several citizens or apartment complexes have reported to the sheriff's office that their rent checks have been compromised. We're currently looking at three investigations. there could potentially be more."

Money orders are treated like cash, so there's no way to recover the stolen rent payment. The only recourse for the tenants is to sue the apartment complex, if it tries to evict them. In the meantime, law enforcement recommends renters hand deliver payments, and never use the drop box.

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