Rhea Mahbubani

FedEx Contract Driver Pleads Not Guilty to Theft of Laptop, Cash, iPads From 3 San Mateo County Homes

Police used two iPads allegedly stolen by Kevin Baker to track him to his East Bay home

A convicted felon, who worked as a contract driver for FedEx, on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to burglarizing three unlocked San Mateo County homes, and making off with laptops, iPads and cash, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Kevin Baker, 57, of Hayward, is accused of first burglarizing an Atherton home on Orchard Hills Street around 1:30 p.m. May 3. He made off with a $1,500 laptop, but was captured on a surveillance camera, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

His second crime was on the 200 block of Park Lane, also in Atherton, at 1:20 p.m. May 5, at which time he stole $40 from a wallet while the resident was upstairs, according to prosecutors.

Police said Baker then burglarized a Menlo Park home on the 1100 block of Trinity Drive at 7 p.m. May 17. He grabbed two iPads worth $2,000, and police used the tablets to track Baker to his Hayward home, prosecutors said.

Baker now faces charges of felony residential burglary. He was appointed a public defender Wednesday and chose not to waive his right to a speedy preliminary trial, prosecutors said.

FedEx issued a statement, saying: “FedEx Ground contracts for, and expects the highest levels of conduct from service providers and their employees. We are cooperating fully with the authorities as they conduct their investigation and will take the appropriate steps to address this matter.”

Baker’s criminal history, however, includes various theft-related offenses. Police believe open and unlocked doors proved to be too much of a temptation for the driver delivering packages on the Peninsula.

"Yeah, I don't know about FedEx's hiring practices, but it appears he broke in while on his rounds," a district attorney representative said Wednesday.

When pressed on FedEx's policy on background checks, company spokeswoman Meredit Miller said, "Businesses providing service on behalf of FedEx Ground contractually agree to comply with all applicable employment laws related to their drivers and must conduct a background check that includes a review of driving record and criminal history.

"We can confirm that this driver is no longer providing service on behalf FedEx Ground."

Bail is set at $800,000, and Baker, who is still in custody, is expected back in San Mateo County Superior Court on June 6.

NBC Bay Area's Kris Sanchez and Peggy Bunker contributed to this report.

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