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US Postal Inspector and EGPD Press Conference re: Mail Thefts

This topic contains 16 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  wildoates 4 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #175581

    EGPD_PIO
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    The US Postal Inspector and EGPD will be conducting a noon Press Conference @ 8850 Williamson Dr. (Post Office) to discuss three arrests that were made today.

    Officer Christopher Trim
    Public Information Officer
    Elk Grove Police Department
    (916) 627-3709
    chtrim@elkgrovepd.org

  • #275538

    EGL Admin
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    Great news.

  • #275553

    wildoates
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    I hope it stops the thefts!

  • #275550

    plasmadrive
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    My question is simpler.. “what took so damn long”?

    Hopefully it will stem the thefts.

  • #275539

    EGL Admin
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    I assume it’s because you have to catch them. It only takes a few seconds to break into them and they are gone.

  • #275551

    plasmadrive
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    Yeah.. there is that.. ha ha..

    Actually this has been going on for a couple of years and when I did my report about it to the USPS they pretty much told me to go on line and file a report but don’t expect any response.. When I asked if they were investigating the problem in the area the response was “they are aware of it”. That was the extent of it. Not sure how they caught em, but if these are the ones.. Great job..

  • #275540

    EGL Admin
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    The news conference is going to be happening in a few minutes.
    Going to be recording it live.

    http://ustre.am/111JH

  • #275546

    Scarlet
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    Doc, I couldn’t hear very well did they release names?

  • #275541

    EGL Admin
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    Yes they did. Turn up your volume! 😉

    I believe the names are:

    Leonard Velasco, age 22, Elk Grove
    Joseph Ryan, age 20, Elk Grove
    Terry Southwood 20, Elk Grove

    I will confirm later with what is on the news.
    They are charged with theft or receipt of stolen mail. Potential penalty for that is up to 5 years in Federal prison and $250,000 fine. They were also charged with bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. There was one more charge that I could not make out.

    EGPD Chief Lehner spoke and said Elk Grove was one of the hardest hit communities in the US. He also said that because this was a Federal case, since it was mail theft, it is a Federal felony charge. Due to Prop 47, normal theft would be a misdemeanor. Theft of packages from UPS or FedEx is not a Federal crime and would be a misdemeanor if the value is under $900.

    So, you can thank prop 47 for making it easier for these criminals to not get punished for crimes similar to these.

    On a side note, since the news conference was taking place near the parking lot, some spaces were being used by the reporters. I was standing in a space to be able to get a good spot and an older lady just comes flying in and the one of the camera guys motioned for me to watch out. She was not a happy camper. She had the stinkeye going on. She gets out, slams her door, storms off and then sets the alarm. Pretty sure someone was going to break into her car at that point. Right before the news conference a couple of other older ladies were driving by and they stopped and yelled “what’s going on? They aren’t going to close this post office are they?” First guy that spoke at the news conference said, no they aren’t and one of the ladies said, “well they better not!” 🙂

  • #275547

    loonyman
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    KCRA website has her listed ad Keri Southwood, 20.

    I didn’t hear when the public floggings were scheduled but I would like to be there and take my turn dishing out some “Justice.” Please post if you hear anything about when they are scheduled, thanks.

  • #275554

    wildoates
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    @loonyman 105254 wrote:

    KCRA website has her listed ad Keri Southwood, 20.

    I didn’t hear when the public floggings were scheduled but I would like to be there and take my turn dishing out some “Justice.” Please post if you hear anything about when they are scheduled, thanks.

    Dream big!

    And Doc? I didn’t vote for that proposition, so I get to gripe about it. 🙂

  • #275542

    EGL Admin
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    @loonyman 105254 wrote:

    KCRA website has her listed ad Keri Southwood, 20.

    I didn’t hear when the public floggings were scheduled but I would like to be there and take my turn dishing out some “Justice.” Please post if you hear anything about when they are scheduled, thanks.

    I couldn’t hear either I guess. 🙂

    They are going to be arraigned I think at 2 pm and then the records will be unsealed and more information will be released.

  • #275548

    loonyman
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    I hope they release their mailing address. I have something I would like to send them. It’s a “Gift” for having to drive to Longleaf and wait 45 minutes in line to pick up my mail, along with a lot of other folks (Maybe some of you) who had their mailboxes broken into.

    Please keep updating this, I would like to follow up and see what punishment they are facing for multiple “Felony” charges.

    Just another thought, a lot of Online retailers will ship UPS or FedEx to your local post office, and your carrier will deliver that package to your door. If someone were to steal that, would they face Felony charges for mail theft?

  • #275543

    EGL Admin
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    Yes, anything stolen from the USPS is Federal, but not sure on packages delivered to your door. I think it has to be stolen from the mailbox to be Federal, but I am not sure. I will check on that.

  • #275544

    EGL Admin
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    I asked EGPD Police Chief Lehner about the difference between mailbox thefts and regular package theft and if it mattered if the package was delivered by USPS or Fedex/UPS

    It’s still a theft of mail, therefore federal in jurisdiction. I do not know if they enhance the charge of mail theft if a mailbox is broken into.

    And, for further clarification… so could theoretically charge a state theft charge but would have to prove value and, if value less than $950, then can only charge a misdemeanor. Hopefully no one is getting packaged delivered of a value greater than $950 but, if that’s stolen, we could bring state felony charges as well whether or not it’s USPS. But, the federal crime still typically guarantees much more jail/prison time.

  • #275552

    plasmadrive
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    Well let’s see.. if they could prove those are the ones that took my mail there could be a chance of civil penalties as well. It cost me a lot of money for the two thefts I had. New checking accounts…. new checks…. Our time to deal with it. All kinds of other mean nasty things.. :whip:

  • #275549

    loonyman
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    I found this on the Fox 40 website:

    U.S. Postal inspectors and Elk Grove Police say they have arrested three suspects involved in a rash of mailbox break-ins that have occurred for the past several months.

    As many as 60 boxes, many part of cluster mailboxes, were emptied.

    In federal custody on dozens of mail theft, fraud and identity theft charges are 22-year-old Leonard Velasco, 20-year-old Joseph Ryan and 20-year-old Keri Southwood, all of Elk Grove.

    Investigators say the arrests were made after a search warrant was issued for Sothwood’s Elk Grove residents. Court documents say 1,000 pieces of mail from 250 individuals were found.

    A break in the case happened when Southwood was stopped for shoplifting at the Kohl’s department store in Elk Grove. Fifteen stolen bank and credit cards were found as well stolen tax documents.

    Earlier investigators discovered store surveillance of individuals fitting the description of the suspects posing as the victims their stolen cards at area Target and Walmart stores. Close to $10,000 of merchandise was purchased.

    Police and inspectors credited citizens with coming forward with information on fraudulent bank transactions.

    A fourth man who was seen with two of the suspects on cameras dumping stolen mail into a dumpster was arrested earlier on state theft charges and pleaded guilty. He is not part of the federal mail theft case. Other arrests may be made as the investigation continues.

    The most serious charges could put suspects in federal prison for five years with a $250,000 fine.

  • #275545

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    A woman posted on our FB that someone stole her checks and cashed it for $5300. She said she called police and the post office and no one will return her call. I told her she needs to call them back. I have a hard time believing that with all this going on that no one would call her back over something like that and she said she knew the person who cashed it. It was not one of the three arrested. I am sure there are other people involved who may not be associated with these 3. I doubt they did all the break-ins.

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