When postal inspectors arrived at the scene of a suspicious fire in Loretto, Virginia, they found the community’s small post office burned to the ground. An investigation revealed that the real crime had taken place a day earlier, and the fire was meant to destroy the evidence.
On June 17, 1997, three men used a hammer to open the safe and steal stamps, money orders, and the money order imprinting machine. They used the machine to forge more than 60 money orders, totaling over $40,000, and cashed them in and around Washington, DC. Postal inspectors broke the case when a check-cashing outlet reported a suspicious postal money order with its receipt still attached. The criminals were quickly arrested and jailed.