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Thieves Steal Mail From Dozens of Households in the East Bay

A Contra Costa County police department is urging all its residents to make sure their mailboxes are secure.

The warning comes after Oakley police arrested a group of thieves who they believe stole mail from dozens of households in two cities.

It all began with a 911 call Tuesday morning from a homeowner along Kelsey Lane in Oakley.

They noticed a suspicious car driving slowly in the neighborhood going through mailboxes.

Oakley police eventually arrested three individuals in that car who they claim had stolen mail from 34 households across Oakley and Antioch.

It’s troubling news for residents like Anita Narang who has lived in Oakley for more than a decade.

“I’m a little bit concerned because we haven’t had that kind of theft here,” said Narang.

Oakley Police Chief Paul Beard did not provide details on the type of mail that was stolen. But says this is the time of year when thieves are targeting specific items.

“Right now in the postal system we have a lot of tax return checks coming back to people, government aid checks going out to people right now,” said Beard.

Matthew Norfleet is a U.S. Postal inspector handling mail theft cases across the Bay Area. He said mail theft has become a year-round problem, leading to roughly 2,000 arrests nationwide every year.

“Certainly tax refund checks are a thing that gets stolen out of the mail,” he said, adding it’s important to not let your mail sit in the mailbox for too long.

“Government checks are trusted in enough institutions, turned into cash by criminals,” said Norfleet.

Oakley police are working with postal inspectors to reconnect households with their stolen mail and urging anyone who thinks their mail may have been taken, to contact the post office.

As for Narang, she’s gone a step further to try to keep her mail safe.

“On our street, we all have locked mailboxes, but I know the wider community is feeling the need,” she said.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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