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Government & Politics

Federal and Local Law Enforcement Break Central Valley Mail Theft Rings

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Capital Public Radio

Federal and local law enforcement officials have announced arrests and prosecutions in a flurry of mail theft cases.  As Max Pringle reports, Sacramento, Bakersfield and Fresno were the focus of months of investigations.

Last year, U.S. Postal Service inspectors from around the country came to the Central Valley to help local police investigate an upswing in mail theft. Greg Campbell with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service says mail theft and drug abuse usually go hand-in-hand.

Campbell:  “I used to have a saying that I think still holds true that ‘where there’s meth, there’s mail. There is a correlation between those who are on substance abuse and going out to do things to accommodate their habit.”

So far, “Operation Broken MailBox” has netted more than 20 arrests and nine federal prison sentences. Law enforcement officials say local victims have lost about $400,000 over the last year because of identity theft, stolen checks and stolen mail-order prescription drugs.

Officials say the increased postal service investigations will continue for now.