Mail, package thefts plague West Side

Sonoma police are investigating possibly-unrelated cases of stolen mail and stolen packages suggestive of a mini-crime spree.

The first case came to light Jan. 22 when a resident of the 300 block of Fifth Street West came to the police station with letters she had found in her mailbox addressed to someone else. Contents of the letters indicated they were outgoing mail, containing checks for the payment of bills, but no checks were found.

Police tracked the mail to the sender through the return address on the envelopes and learned the victim had mailed out four checks with bills that morning.

She also told police that she found mail in her mail box that had been opened and did not belong to her.

Police surmised the mail thief or thieves may have discarded stolen mail from previous thefts at each successive mailbox, and they issued a warning against the wisdom of entrusting unlocked mailboxes with un-cancelled checks since the names, addresses and account numbers can be used to forge fraudulent checks on victims’ accounts.

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