UPDATE: A condominium building at 8530 Holloway Dr. is the latest in West Hollywood to have suffered a theft of residents’ mail. Lt. David Smith of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station said today “We’ve been getting hit randomly along with other cities.” Smith said an arrest was made in a mailbox break-in about three weeks ago, but it is clear that others are conducting similar break-ins. Smith said Sheriff’s station is working with the U.S Postal Service and its detectives on the matter.
Apparently there are multiple people involved in the recent rash of mailbox thefts in West Hollywood apartment and condo buildings.
WEHOville published a story Wednesday with a photo of a man apparently removing mail from mailboxes in a building on West Knoll Drive north of Santa Monica Boulevard. Thursday evening another reader provided a video of three people entering his condo building at on Doheny Drive near Cynthia Street and stealing mail.
The reader, Aaron Micu, who is president of his homeowners association, said he “received a mail theft complaint from one of the homeowners in my building on Cynthia and Doheny. Being the HOA (homeowners association) president, I reviewed our cameras to find a man, woman and younger male access our building through the master lock, enter our mail room and proceed to use a master key to open all mail boxes, fill a large hefty style plastic garbage bag full of mail, remove all packages, and casually walk out of the building.”
Micu said the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station was alerted to the theft. He said a deputy who he talked to described the situation as an “epidemic,” saying the station was receiving frequent calls.
In the video, a woman is using what appears to be a mail carriers key to open the front door of the building. The key then is used to open the panels covering the mailboxes, allowing the woman and her two male companions to remove the mail and dump it into a large bag.
The story published by WEHOville on Wednesday included photos that showed a single man who did not resemble the three in the building on Doheny. The reader who provided those photos said that man also had used a master key that is provided to mail carriers to enter the building.
Stacia Crane of the public information office at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service urged that anyone who believes his or her mail was stolen report it immediately by submitting an online complaint at postalinspectors.uspis.gov or calling (877) 876-2455.