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Halloween prank? City Utilities payment drop box broken into overnight

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 3:41 pm

If it was a Halloween trick, Fort Wayne officials aren’t laughing.

Someone broke into a City Utilities payment drop box on East Berry Street sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, possibly putting customers’ banking information at risk, city spokesman Frank Suarez said in a statement.

City Utilities customer service workers discovered the damage at about 8 a.m. Thursday when they went to collect overnight payments from the drop box, Suarez said. City officials did not immediately know if the vandals took any payments, but some payments were in the box Thursday morning, he said.

The drop box collects payments for City Utilities; the Allen County Regional Water and Sewer District; the Fort Wayne city clerk’s office; and Housing and Neighborhood Development Services.

City Utilities asked anyone who dropped a payment in the box between 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday to call 427-1234 to confirm the city received the payment.

Suarez said City Utilities officials are concerned that ratepayers’ bank account information may be at risk because of the break-in. The city advised customers to call their banks if they used the box over the 24-hour period.

Anyone with tips on the break-in can call the Fort Wayne Police Department of Crime Stoppers at 436-STOP (436-7867).