USPS: Oakland rash of mail truck burglaries continues

The U.S. Postal Service tells KTVU  there has been a rash of mail vehicle burglaries while they're parked in various neighborhoods in Oakland. Mail and packages have been stolen.

A postal inspector says thieves are breaking into the side windows and getting into the postal vehicle to steal.

Mail carriers load up the back of their vehicles and head out to make their deliveries. A source tells KTVU thieves are following postal vans and lie in wait.

"While they're out delivering mail is when these vehicles are attacked," says Jeff Fitch, a postal inspector. 

He says there have been four such attacks in less than three weeks, from the end of January to mid-February.

The most recent break-in took place along Mandela Parkway, near the Emeryville city line. 

"[More] brazen...than just say stealing something off your porch," says Leza Shallat, a Oakland resident. 

Breaking into a postal vehicle and stealing mail is a federal crime. It carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. 

Another mail vehicle burglary took place in the Temescal neighborhood.

Luke Kennedy tells KTVU he's already had packages stolen from his home, "We got the notice that it was delivered. but it was never there." 

But Kennedy says he isn't aware of mail being stolen.

The postal service says thieves may be targeting credit card information and advises people to check their bank and credit cards statements for suspicious transactions.

"That will tell us what department store, convenience store, gas station...information where it was used at. And that will provide us with possible video and suspect information, and evidence to further our cases," says Fitch. 

"Have to be a little concerned. Yeah, crime in a neighborhood is never a good thing obviously," says Kennedy. 

The postal service is offering up to $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves.

Fitch says there is a 24 hour postal inspectors hotline to report suspicious activity or to get information if you've had your mail stolen. The number to call with information is 1-877-876-2455

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