Hundreds of people in the South Bay have had their mail stolen and probably don't even know about it.
Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police arrested two men last month found with mail stolen from over 250 South Bay residents.
Officers saw two suspicious men loitering in the parking lot of Downing Oak Shopping Center in the 15000 block of Union Avenue around 4:15 a.m. on Jan. 23, police said.
The officers who approached the men recovered numerous amounts of stolen mail, police said.
Investigators linked the mail to residents from the Los Gatos, Campbell, Saratoga and San Jose areas, according to police.
Victims of the theft will be notified through a letter from the police department with instructions on how to claim their mail no later than Feb. 7, police said.
The men were identified as San Jose residents David Zumr, 47, and Timothy Reinert, 23, who were both booked on charges of possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.
To prevent mail thefts, U.S. Postal Service spokesperson Jeff Fitch suggested people promptly pick up their mail, consider purchasing a locking mailbox if they don't have one, and contact their local post office to hold their mail if they will be absent from their home for a long period of time.
Fitch said they’ve seen crimes like this recently in Belmont and across the Bay Area into the Central Valley, with thieves looking for items like cash, credit cards and checks.
“The chances of mail theft are low,” Fitch said, “but if it happens to you or happens to your neighbors, it’s one instance too many.”
Detectives are working to develop leads that may link the men to other mail thefts and crimes, according to police.
Anyone with more information on the suspects is asked to contact Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police Detective Bryan Paul at (408) 827-3213.
Bay City News contributed to this report.
Booking photos show Reinert (left) and Zumr (right).