Yet another apartment and mailbox break-in has occurred in West Hollywood, this one at 1010 N. Kings Rd.
The video above shows the thief entering the building this past Wednesday and using a Post Office master key to open the mailbox and take the mail.
“This person has been stealing our mail on at least on two occasions — September 18, Friday, at 5:30am, and then just recently, on September 30, Wednesday, at 4:30 a.m.,” said a resident of the building in an email to WEHOville. That resident said the building’s mailbox also was broken into in June.
“This guy (we cautiously assume he might be of Russian descent) has been ‘shopping’ on our street, and we are sitting ducks, and the cameras do not mean a thing to him,” the resident said. “He (along with many others in the recent past) has been causing a lot of anxiety and hardship for a lot of people due to identity theft and what have you. It’s epidemic.
“It’s like the Wild West with our mail system, and all we can do in this 53-unit condo building is tell the tenants to pick up their mail before 10 p.m.-6 a.m., and never mail anything in the outgoing box after the mailman leaves (and he usually comes between 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.),” the resident said. “In other words, do NOT leave any mail in the mailboxes overnight, period and, if going out of town, put a stop delivery notice on your mail, or have a trusted friend or neighbor pick up your mail during the day. We can only do so much.”
This incident brings to 13 the number of mailbox break-ins reported by local residents to WEHOville.com, and there likely are many more. The U.S. Postal Inspector and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station refuse to disclose the addresses of buildings that have been broken into, saying that will compromise their investigation, although the thieves are aware of which buildings they have access to.
Buildings in and near West Hollywood to which thieves have keys to the lobby and mailboxes according to reports from WEHOville readers include the following:
— 851 San Vicente Blvd. (Desmond Condos)
— 906 N. Doheny Dr.
— 1539 N. Laurel Ave.
— 8530 Holloway Dr.
— 1203 N. Sweetzer Ave.
— 7949 Selma Ave.
— 7941 Selma Ave.
— 8440 DeLongpre Ave.
— 1010 N. Kings Rd.
— 855 N. Croft Ave..
— 939 Palm Ave.
— 884 Palm Ave.
— 8811 Burton Way
While mail theft is one issue for building residents, thieves also might gain access to data that allows them to hack one’s bank account and withdraw money. And access to a building by criminals also puts the safety of its residents at risk.
Richard Maer, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service, said it has begun replacing old master locks with new high-security locks in the Los Angeles area. With the tens of thousands of locks in service, this will be a huge undertaking and will be done in phases,” he said. “Working with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, areas for lock replacement will be targeted based upon recent incidents of theft and vandalism.”
It is not clear when the replacement will begin and which buildings will be serviced first.