Neighbors cooperate in nabbing of alleged mail thieves

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Two people were in custody Tuesday for investigation of mail theft after a string of disappearances of holiday cards, packages and other mail from both Port Angeles and county areas had been reported.

Jennifer R. Leroy, 32, and Holly E. Baker, 40, both of Port Angeles, were booked into the Clallam County jail Monday for investigation of possession of stolen property, attempted theft, and criminal trespass, said Brian Smith, Port Angeles assistant chief of police.

Their capture is mostly due to “good old-fashioned community involvement,” Smith said.

Community members went beyond just calling in, he said.

A person who reported people going through mailboxes at about 5 p.m. Monday on Walnut Street in Port Angeles provided police with a Washington license plate number and the description of a black GMC Jimmy.

Additional reports indicated there were discarded UPS boxes near Walnut Street.

Police located the SUV with the license plate on the 700 block of E. Seventh Street, and got a warrant, Smith said.

A search of the vehicle revealed stolen UPS boxes, toys, opened Christmas cards and stolen mail from several Port Angeles’ addresses, Smith said.

Unlawful possession of more than five pieces of mail not belonging to the person is a felony,” he said.

No one area was hit by mail theft.

The mail found in the car came from addresses from Sequim to Freshwater Bay, Smith said.

“They were targets of opportunity,” he said.

The investigation will continue, Smith said, saying that police think more people may be involved.

Most mailboxes are unlocked and left full of mail for much of the day, he said.

Law enforcement officers are asking residents to pick up their mail from their boxes as soon as practical, call 9-1-1 immediately if they see anyone tampering with mail or mailboxes, pay attention to anything suspicious in their neighborhoods and report to police any theft or attempted theft of mail or packages.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 20. 2011 6:12PM
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