Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

LSPD find mail theft victims during traffic stop


May 22, 2012

Under the watchful eye of the Lake Stevens Police Department a man driving a burgundy Toyota Corolla was pulled over on May 1 for not wearing his seatbelt. When officer Josh Holmes looked into the 29-year-old’s car, he noticed a lot of mail.

The suspect then gave the officer a fake name.

“After making a routine traffic stop, Officer Holmes discovered a large amount of mail in the vehicle not addressed to the person in the vehicle,” Lake Stevens Police Chief Randy Celori said. “He identified himself as someone else and he had a few different Washington state drivers’ licenses, all of which were fabricated.”

Police soon identified 125 victims form all over Snohomish and northern King County.

“A lot of the mail we recovered is from unsecured residential mailboxes and vehicle prowls. One was related to a burglary,” Celori said.

Police obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and the suspect’s Lake Stevens home where they discovered even more.

“We seized the suspect’s vehicle and received a search warrant on his vehicle and his residence,” Celori said. “There we discovered mail and possible equipment used related to the crime including computers, shredders and several credit cards in other people’s names.”

Celori warns the public to beware of such crimes and to consider what type of mailbox you utilize.

“It is important to consider utilizing a locked mailbox. If you have the old fashion mailbox try to remove your mail as soon as the postal worker delivers it,” Celori suggested. “If you’re still mailing bills think of utilizing a drop box or the post office itself. Even though many mailboxes are secured, it only slows down the criminal.”

He also reminds everyone to lock your cars at night.

The case is still under investigation.

“The suspect was arrested on other warrants. However, we plan on making additional arrests as we continue our investigation,” Celori said.


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