LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thieves are stealing mail from mailboxes in at least four Kentucky counties, and are cashing in on people's checks.

Leitchfield police officers got lucky while searching a house for suspected drug activity.

"It was a lucky break," said Kevin Henderson, chief of Leitchfield Police. "We lucked out. I'm glad the officer actually noticed it and seen it." 

"Upon executing the search warrant, we noticed some mail -- and it was sort of ironic -- we notice a Kentucky State trooper's mail right on top," said Henderson. "Thought it was a little funny, this trooper's mail would be at this residence."

Police say they realized around 150 pieces of mail were signed, sealed, delivered and stolen.

"We got to looking and we noticed the Grayson County Sheriff''s nephew's mail was in there, and a lot of other different people's mail was inside of this  box," he said. 

And then it clicked: Some of the names on the mail were people who had reported check fraud with Leitchfield Police.

"We finally figured out that these people were stealing mail out of mailboxes at random -- just all over -- we have cases in Bullitt, Hardin, Breckinridge and Grayson, where they've stolen all this mail."

Around 40 checks have been cashed. Now, police and postal inspectors are investigating. They're going through video of the suspects cashing in at different businesses.

Chief Kevin Henderson says there may be up to seven suspects. They know of three so far, but no arrests have been made.

Authorities warn the public against putting up the red flags on their mailboxes.

"The mail carriers, especially in rural areas, they're gonna open your mail box, they're gonna see something laying in there, so they're gonna know to go ahead and check it and send it on," Henderson said.

They also warn not to leave mail overnight.

"A lot of this is happening in the wee hours of the morning," Henderson said.

Police believe drug addictions are fueling the thefts. The suspects will face state and federal charges.

If you think you're missing mail, call police. 

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