The Madera County Sheriff’s Office wants to warn residents again to be on the lookout for mail theft. Mail theft continues to be a problem, especially in the more rural areas of the county where residents have roadside mail boxes. Stealing mail from an unsecured mailbox only takes a few seconds, but problems arising from the theft can take months or longer to resolve. Identity theft and other types of fraud are the usual occurrences. Residents should consider placing outgoing mail the mail slots in the post office or handing it to a letter carrier; received mail should be picked up as soon as possible and not left in the mailbox overnight. Neighbors should watch out for each other and report any suspicious activity to the sheriff’s office immediately.
☆ On July 16, the sheriff’s office received a call of two white males with shaved heads, driving an older gold colored Toyota Camry, stealing mail out of a mailbox in the 22000 block of Road 15 ½ in Chowchilla. These suspects were apparently taking the contents out of envelopes and then discarding the empty envelopes on the side of the road.
☆ On July 18, the Sheriff’s Office received a call of a white female adult driving an older red Honda sedan and opening peoples’ mail boxes and possibly taking mail in the 22000 block of Robertson Boulevard in Chowchilla. On the same day, the Sheriff’s Office received a call that a mailbox had been pried open at least two different times in the 7000 block of Avenue 18 ½ in Chowchilla, and a mailbox cluster had also been vandalized with mail possibly stolen in the area of Avenue 18 ½ and Road 4.
☆ On July 22, the sheriff’s office received a call of mail theft out of a mailbox in the 13000 block of Avenue 23 ½ in Chowchilla. The suspect in this case took the mail, took the contents out of the envelopes and discarded the empty envelopes on the side of the road.
☆ On Aug. 2, a deputy conducted a vehicle stop on an older green Ford Explorer on Road 400 near Road 603. The deputy found numerous items of mail from numerous different people and addresses in the vehicle. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, Jocelynn Gray, was arrested for mail theft, possession of narcotics paraphernalia, and a felony warrant out of Madera County.
It is unknown if all of the earlier mail thefts were related, but there is likely several groups of suspects responsible for the recent series of thefts. If you suspect your mail has been stolen, you should make a report with law enforcement and monitor your financial and identity records.