MATTAPOISETT — A chase in Mattapoisett early Friday morning ended with a manhunt and the arrest of two men suspected of stealing more than $250,000 from town residents.

Mattapoisett police said 18-year-old Joseph Herrera Rodriguez and 18-year-old Jorman Aybar, both of Dorchester, were taken into custody for allegedly stealing, altering, and cashing checks from mailboxes outside the town's post office.

Police had received multiple reports this week from residents saying they had checks stolen and altered after they were mailed — and according to police, the amounts stolen totaled to over $250,000.

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An investigation found that mail was being stolen from the outside mail depositories.

The stolen checks were then altered for large amounts and often deposited or cashed in other states, a crime known as mailbox fishing, police said.

Police notified the U.S. Postal Service inspector and conducted surveillance outside the post office.

According to police, at 4:45 a.m. on Aug. 19, the officer on duty saw two people fishing mail from the boxes.

Police said the men fled to a white Acura when officers approached, then sped away, hitting a police cruiser in the process.

The car then headed north on North Street to I-195 eastbound ramp, where it went into the woods.

Both suspects inside the vehicle fled on foot.

Police said officers set up a perimeter and searched the area with help from multiple agencies, including Fairhaven, Rochester, and Marion police, the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, and Massachusetts State Police patrol and air wing.

A Plymouth County Sheriff K9 officer found Aybar shortly afterwards, and the alleged driver, Herrera Rodriguez, was found in the same area several hours later.

Herrera Rodriguez is charged with breaking into a depository with intent to commit a felony, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, larceny over $1,200, failure to stop for police, operating to endanger, and other motor vehicle violations.

Aybar was charged with breaking into a depository with intent to commit a felony and larceny over $1,200.

Police ask anyone who has mailed any checks via the outside mailbox depositories at the Mattapoisett Post Office to monitor their accounts.

Fraudulent activity should be reported to Mattapoisett Police.

The investigation is ongoing.

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