Criminals Targeting South Bay Mail Boxes - NBC Bay Area

Criminals Targeting South Bay Mail Boxes

Meth might be a link to a string of South Bay thefts



    Criminals Targeting South Bay Mail Boxes
    Damian Trujillo

    Since January 1, thieves have vandalized 20 postal cluster boxes in San Jose.

    Cluster boxes are locked mail boxes, usually seen on sidewalks where up to 10 residents of an apartment complex can pick up their mail.

    The crooks have taken checks, credit card information and other mail.

      "It's very unusual that they actually hit cluster boxes," said Gus Ruiz, postal spokesman in San Jose.

    Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department

    But with dozens of victims since the first of the year, Ruiz wonders if meth lab operators may be responsible.

    "What meth labs need is quick cash," said Ruiz.  "They'll hit anything they can and mail happens to be an easy target for them. They will move all over the place, through Arizona and into California. We've had a rash of them in southern California. As soon as we concentrate on that, they move up north. "

    When asked if they could be moving to the Bay Area, Ruiz said, "Could be. it's possible."

    The latest hit was at the Velagio condominium community in north San Jose.

    Thieves hit a wall-mounted  cluster box next to Jyoti Srivastava's condo.

    Soon after, Srivastava says the postal police asked her for a favor.

    "The inspector, he wanted to install a camera, at least for a couple weeks, to record activities or whatever," said Srivastava.

    Srivastava said the surveillance camera was to be placed on her bedroom window.

    But the plan never worked out.

    Hilary Ricker with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service told NBC Bay Area her officers have identified a suspect, and may make an arrest soon.

    But she doesn't believe he is acting alone, and hopes to catch the other suspects before they hit their 21st cluster box of the year.