A West Palm Beach lawn care guy stole 39 checks worth $171,599 from one Lantana mailbox.

The next number that’ll concern 34-year-old Marchello Wilbon: the number of years he’ll get in federal prison when he’s sentenced Dec. 13 for mail theft after he pleaded guilty. The maximum is five years and a $250,000 fine.

According to Wilbon’s admission of facts, around 9 in the morning on Monday, July 15, he was working in a yard in the South Atlantic Drive area of Lantana. A resident on that street, “H.B.,” put the aforementioned 39 checks in the mailbox for pickup by the mailman.

One of Wilbon’s coworkers found an open envelope with a check from H.B.’s address. Wilbon said he went to put the check back in the box, but the pile of mail called to another part of Wilbon. He took the 39 checks back to his truck and hid them in a blue bag.

When H.B. returned to the mailbox with a 40th piece of mail for pickup, the box was empty. H.B. (who clearly has a good relationship with the neighborhood U.S. Postal Service worker) called the mailman’s mobile phone to ask if he’d picked up the mail yet. The mailman said he hadn’t.

A pool serviceman driving on South Atlantic had seen who had picked up — or, rather, picked off — the mail and called Lantana police to describe a black male in long pants and a dark shirt. Soon, Lantana cops got a report of a black male running through back yards in the area.

Police found Wilbon in Lantana Beach.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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