PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man accused of dressing up like a postal employee and stealing mail has been arrested.
According to authorities, 27-year-old Zachkey James, of Philadelphia, is the man responsible, and he was largely after money orders.
He's accused of going into various Philadelphia-area post offices and stealing mail. He's also accused of similar thefts from USPS curbside collection boxes in various locations around Philadelphia and Montgomery County.
The investigation into James came to a head on Dec. 8, 2021. That's when James allegedly tried to cash money orders at a place called Ace Check Cashing.
But according to court documents, the employee noticed something wrong.
"The employee further observed a smudge on each money order over a security feature and recognized the smudge as an indication that the money orders had been altered," the criminal complaint states.
Police were called and James was arrested.
Authorities say his phone was searched and investigators found conversations about altering money orders and checks.
During the investigation, James was allegedly caught on security video at another check-cashing business.
Investigators say he cashed in more than $66,000 in money orders.
This went on from Nov. 2021 to July 2022.
According to investigators, James dressed up as a USPS employee and obtained an arrow key.
A single arrow key opens dozens of collection box locks in a specific geographic area.
Investigators say they observed James in July of this year on video at the Kingsessing post office accessing the mail in the collection mailboxes.
He's caught on video again allegedly doing the same thing at the North Philadelphia post office and others.
Investigators also say last month James was in possession of three arrow keys and approximately 15 mail-in ballots that had been stolen from USPS collection boxes.
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum of 31 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.