The complaints from Westchester residents who have not been receiving their mail helped lead to the arrests of three men who allegedly have been stealing from mailboxes for several months, investigators from the United States Postal Inspection Service said.
The USPIS and members of the Pelham Police Department announced the arrests of Bronx residents Jonathan Jimenez, Luis Gonzalez-Morell and Martin Reyes-Maria on Tuesday, following a monthslong investigation into stolen mail.
Officials said that over the past several months, the USPIS, Pelham Police Department and Westchester County District Attorney’s Office has been looking into incidents of mail theft from blue collection boxes in the area. Investigators noted that the thefts came “under the cover of darkness, when most residents are in their homes and when the suspects believed no one was watching.”
When the police and postal inspectors began receiving complaints from the public regarding the thefts over the summer, they launched their investigation, which led them to their three suspects.
On Monday, Oct. 1, the three men were caught red-handed attempting to steal more mail. Two were taken into custody at the scene, while the third suspect fled. Each was allegedly in possession of stolen mail at the time of their arrests.
“The crime of mail theft is personal and hits home," Inspector in Charge Philip R. Bartlett said. "These individuals targeted communities outside of their neighborhoods, believing they would not be caught and could get away with stealing from the U.S. Mail.
"Let me be clear, if you steal the mail, you are going to jail. These arrests reflect the continued efforts of Postal Inspectors and their law enforcement partners to safeguard the U.S. Mail for our customers and employees.”
Jimenez, 23, Gonzalez-Morell, 23, and Reyes-Maria were each charged with a felony count of criminal possession of stolen property and have been arraigned in the Village of Pelham Courthouse. They are scheduled to appear in court later this month to answer the charges.
“Mail theft, and by extension, identity theft, hurts individuals and businesses," Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. added. "For some months, the District Attorney’s Investigations Division has been working closely with local police departments and the United States Postal Inspectors to stem the tide of mail theft throughout Westchester County.
"We commend the Village of Pelham Police for these most recent arrests. These criminals and others who would steal mail from the people of Westchester must know they will be vigorously prosecuted and brought to justice.”
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