San Pablo

Thieves Use Stolen Postmaster Key to Steal Mail From San Pablo Apartment Complex

NBC Universal, Inc.

A Contra Costa County city is dealing with mail theft which has become a widespread problem across the Bay Area.

At one apartment complex in San Pablo, thieves are finding a unique way to break into mailboxes -- they’re using a stolen postmaster key.

The situation is leaving residents both frustrated and concerned for their safety.

Surveillance video from earlier in March shows thieves stealing directly from mailboxes at the apartment complex.

Somehow, the thieves got hold of a postmaster key and residents say the thefts have been taking place since last November.

“It feels like a total violation, it’s disheartening, especially we all know, living in the Bay Area is not cheap," said a resident.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that about a quarter of the residents in her complex have reported stolen mail in the past few months. She first noticed it when important documents never showed up.

“My tags from the DMV never came, I had a debit card from the bank that I never received. And also a check and unfortunately it was from government agency. A refund on something I had overpaid”, she said.

San Pablo police are investigating the incident and are currently coordinating with the local U.S Postal Service on the case.

They’ve noticed a recent uptick in mail thefts and remind residents to contact police if you see this taking place.

“Certainly it’s a challenge when the suspects do appear have some sort of device to access these mailboxes easily,” said Captain Brian Bubar of the San Pablo Police Department. 

Jeff Fitch is a U.S. postal inspector and made it clear that suspects accused of committing mail theft, will face stiff penalties.

“Theft of mail is a potential penalty of up to five years in federal prison, up to a $250,000 fine,” he said.

And for residents, the frustration of mail being stolen is equal to the concern of running into the thieves committing the crime.

Contact Us