A man suspected in a string of mail thefts in Woodbury was arrested by St. Anthony, MN, officers Sunday night.
Woodbury since late October has seen a , everything from mail stolen outright to it being strewn about streets and found elsewhere.
St. Anthony authorities say the man arrested is a 20-year-old from St. Paul. He was stopped for a traffic violation near Larpenteur and Snelling avenues in Falcon Heights.
During the traffic stop, St. Anthony police found the man with mail from Woodbury, said Cmdr. Jay Alberio of the .
Police are still gathering information, but the man is suspected to have been involved in similar incidents in Oakdale, Alberio said. Oakdale police confirmed the arrest, and said the individual was in possession of several pieces of mail from Oakdale and surrounding communities.
A different man arrested in Washington County late last week is also suspected to have been involved in some of the Woodbury mail theft, Alberio said. There were four other people arrested, as well, but they were considered newcomers to mail theft in the area, according to a Pioneer Press report.
Though the incidents have tailed off lately, Alberio urged residents to call police if they see anything suspicious.
Those who have concerns about identity theft can get information from the police department, Alberio said. He also asked anyone who believes they were a victim of mail theft to file a report.
An investigator with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said the man who was arrested is also suspected of stealing mail in Maplewood, St. Paul, Lake Elmo, Little Canada and Roseville.
“It’s been a very trying time for us here,” said postal inspector Troy Sabby, adding that it’s one of the larger cases of mail theft he’s seen.
The arrestee is currently the only suspect in the thefts, he said.
Investigators are currently going through the evidence found in the man’s car, which was impounded, Sabby said.
It appears he was looking for cash, anything of value and personal information in the mail, he said.
The postal inspection service recommends residents don’t put outgoing mail in their mailboxes, but rather drop it in a blue collection box or at a post office, or mail it from work, he said. It’s also important to get mail out of your mailbox as soon as possible, he said.
“These people tend to like to go drive around at night when it’s dark so people don’t see them,” he said.
Mail theft is a federal offense, he said, and it’s not yet clear when the man will be charged in connection with the thefts.
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