Crime - Sacto 911

Postal inspectors: Three arrested for Elk Grove mail theft

Federal postal inspectors on Thursday announced the arrests of three people in connection with the theft of mail in Elk Grove.

Elk Grove police have been on the lookout for mail thieves after dozens of cluster mailboxes were broken into in recent weeks. Jeff Fitch, U.S. postal inspector and public information officer, said the suspects have been linked to some of the more than 60 mailbox break-ins that have occurred since Jan. 1 and the investigation is continuing.

Taken into custody Thursday morning were Leonard Velasco, 22, Joseph Ryan, 20, and Keri Southwood, 20. They appeared Thursday afternoon in federal court in Sacramento.

Fitch said all three are charged with theft or receipt of stolen mail, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and access device fraud.

Fitch said recent mailbox break-ins have been reported elsewhere in the Sacramento region, but Elk Grove has has experienced an unusually large number. The free-standing cluster boxes usually have about a dozen locked slots for individual homeowners and typically are in newer developments.

Postal inspectors have been working closely with Elk Grove police to solve the mail thefts.

Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.