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FORT WORTH, Texas – Criminals are finding new ways of stealing mail. And a string of incidents in the Metroplex has plagued postal inspectors.

The postal investigation agency said tricky thieves have developed a special tool to go “fishing” through blue mailboxes.

Alex Hernandez mailed her house payment at one of the boxes that was burgled last week.

“I was just going to put my money order in there and drop ‘er off,” she said.

Monday she learned the payment never made it to its destination.

Postal Inspector Amanda McMurrey said it seems to be something that’s happening more and more often this year in the Metroplex. Criminals have developed a tool to help them grab mail from within the blue mailboxes.

“Generally the devices are very crude. Sometimes we find them in the boxes. It’s not a tool a smart criminal would use. They’re desperate for money,” she said.

Postal inspectors have caught some of the criminals, but they believe there are more out there.

Hernandez and her husband don’t believe they’ll get their money back. It’s likely too late for them, but they’re hoping their story helps others.

“I’m not the only one to pay for what they did. We have a daughter. She’s three. Her Christmas is ruined. Don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said.

Postal inspectors said the majority of the time the crimes happen after last collection of the day. They recommend people either take mail directly to the post office or only drop it off before the last scheduled pick up.

The agency is also installing “anti-fishing” devices on the majority of its blue mailboxes in the Metroplex.