Dozens of checks, money orders stolen out of Flat Rock rent payment drop box

Residents speaking out

FLAT ROCK, Mich. – Dozens of residents of a mobile home park have reported their checks or money orders were stolen.

Deerfield Estates residents believe thieves gained access to a payment drop box and stole the money.

In October, 29 victims were part of a report that was filed. Seven new victims were cited in a report filed this month.

That brings the total to 36 residents who claim their check or money orders were stolen. The lockbox is no longer in use.

"Hopefully it's not someone who lives here," resident Sharon Taylor said.

"I thought it was pretty bold and gutsy," said Jerome Ruggirello, owner of Deerfield Estates. "Just another rotten criminal act."

"They were putting long wire objects with some adhesive attached to the end of it and pulling them out," Ruggirello said.

The property owner said they first became aware of the thefts over Christmas. Staff reviewed surveillance videos and said they saw one thief driving while the other broke into the lockbox.

They were both wearing disguises. They later learned the pair then tried cashing the money orders around town.

"When you see white out on something, hopefully, someone double checks," Taylor said. "That's a scam right there."

The mobile home park won't be charging anyone late fees. Tenants can now either pay online or in person.

Police are reviewing surveillance video and telling people to keep an eye out for a white SUV.

About the Authors: