PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man is under investigation for possessing more than 100 pieces of stolen mail from more than 80 victims, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said.
Michael Riley, 32, was detained by Olympic National Park rangers Tuesday after deputies found “a large amount of mail” from several different addresses in Riley’s Dodge Durango on the 3500 block of Hurricane Ridge Road near Heart O’ the Hills Campground, Sheriff’s Sgt. Shaun Minks said.
Also in the vehicle were four government-issued identification cards, three stimulus debit cards, one heavy equipment master key and 15 credit cards, Minks said.
Riley had not been charged as of Thursday. The National Park Service was investigating because the vehicle was found in Olympic National Park.
“They’re trying to reach out to everybody that they have mail for, cards for, checks for, things like that,” Minks said in a Thursday interview.
“They’re conducting an investigation, and I imagine it will probably be a while. They’re committed to thoroughly contacting everybody and working on it.”
Sheriff’s deputies Dylan Heck and Eric Morris recognized the parked black Durango at about 9:21 a.m. Tuesday from video surveillance of recent mail thefts in and around Port Angeles, Minks said.
“He was detained after deputies saw a large amount of mail with different addresses and different people’s names on them, and none of them were his,” Minks said.
“Once they detained him, parks showed up and took jurisdiction over it because it was in the national park.”
Park rangers impounded the vehicle and seized all of the evidence.
“They did not arrest him,” Minks said, “but they’re conducting an investigation, and they’re in communication with the prosecutors and going that route.”
Parks rangers were contacting victims of the mail thefts Thursday.
Minks reminded the public to report suspicious activity to law enforcement dispatch at 360-417-2459.
“Mail theft is one of the most common crimes in our country, and the best way to prevent being a victim is to invest in a locking mailbox or check your mail immediately after delivery,” Minks said in a Wednesday press release.
“People are tired of having to watch their mail,” Minks added Thursday.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.