In separate incidents last week, police arrested two men and charged them with stealing mail from city residents.

While investigating a complaint by a Church Street business owner that he had been passed fraudulent checks, New Haven police officer Dario Aponte found a box cutter, two credit cards, 27 opened pieces of mail and four checkbooks in the possession of Shawn Williams, 38, of Elm Street, police said.

Williams was arrested last Wednesday and charged with 10 counts of sixth-degree larceny, two counts of theft of a credit card, third-degree forgery and possession of drug paraphernalia. The mail, credit cards and checks were returned to their intended recipients in the Dwight neighborhood.

Last Monday, a security guard saw Alton Snipes, 31, of Bridgeport, examining and taking mail from Audubon Court at Lincoln and Trumbull streets, police said.

With the aid of a passer-by, the building manager was able to detain Snipes long enough for police to arrive. Snipes had in his possession two pieces of mail addressed to Audubon Court residents, police said.

He was arrested and charged with third-degree burglary and sixth-degree larceny.

A U.S. postal inspector consulted on both cases, which were apparently unrelated.

–Andrew Paciorek