Alleged mail thief goes to court as 10,000 pieces show some from Sequim

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A man allegedly found with about 1,000 pounds of stolen mail from several counties — including Jefferson and Clallam — in his residence has been charged with 12 counts of second-degree possession of stolen property and one count of possession of stolen mail.

Adam Justin Lysiak of Port Townsend, who was arrested Tuesday and who remained in the Jefferson County jail on $250,000 bail Saturday, will be arraigned on the charges at 8:30 a.m. this Friday in Jefferson County Superior Court.

His attorney, public defender Ben Critchlow, requested a continuance Friday for the 38-year-old man to enter a plea, and it was granted by Clallam County Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer, who presided as a visiting judge Friday.

After three days of sorting through plastic bags of stolen mail, officers found a few pieces from Sequim, said Port Townsend Police Officer Luke Bogues.

Nearly all of the mail recovered from Lysiak’s Sherman Street apartment and car is from Kitsap and Jefferson counties, Bogues has said, adding that police believe Lysiak took it from mailboxes between Poulsbo and Port Townsend.

By Friday, sorters had found about 10,000 pieces of mail, as well as credit cards and passports.

A few dozen pieces of mail appear to be from Pierce, King and Clallam counties, Bogues said.

He did not know if that mail was sent at the same time the rest was accumulated — during the past two months — or if it was from an earlier date.

Bogues said all of the junk mail has been separated from the stolen items, with what remains placed in a folder sorted by ZIP code or victim.

“Every single letter needs to be inspected,” Bogues said.

Officers are taking a break from the routine and will continue Tuesday, Bogues said.

Bogues said officers have been working overtime, but they have been assisted by police volunteers “whose help has saved us a lot of money.”

One U.S. Postal Service inspector also has assisted and may bring another staff member this week, Bogues said.

The Port Townsend Safeway donated food for the officers and volunteers who were sorting the mail, Bogues said.

Lysiak eventually could be charged with more than 100 felonies, Bogues has said, since each 10 pieces of mail potentially could be the basis for two Class C felonies: theft of mail and possession of stolen mail.

The next step in the investigation process is to photocopy and document each piece of stolen mail.

That process is expected to take another week or more, and only then will it be possible to begin notifying victims.

Bogues has said police are not ready to answer specific questions from mail-theft victims.

Evidence is linking Lysiak to crimes using stolen checks at local businesses, Bogues said.

Police have obtained video surveillance showing Lysiak using stolen checks in Port Townsend, he said.

Lysiak shopped in the Silverdale area using stolen checks, credit cards and gift cards, Bogues added.

Police are asking merchants to contact investigators if they believe Lysiak shopped at their business.

Information such as the time of purchase, payment method and what goods or services were obtained is useful, police said, as well as security camera footage, if available.

Merchants with information are requested to call Bogues or Detective Jason Greenspane at 360-385-2322 during business hours.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 16. 2013 5:47PM
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