Update: WeHo Apartment Building Break-ins and Mail Thefts Now at 26

Woman breaking into mailboxes at 1010 N. Kings Rd.
Woman breaking into mailboxes at 1010 N. Kings Rd. yesterday.

LATEST UPDATE Jan. 28, 2016:  A member of the homeowners association of the condominium building at 1010 N. Kings Rd. alerted WEHOville this morning to a mailbox break in yesterday by someone who appeared to be using a U.S. Postal Service master key.

This brings to 23 the number of such break-ins reported to WEHOville by its readers.  Neither the USPIS nor the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station will say how many buildings have been broken into or where they are located.

Representatives of the USPIS have told Mayor Lindsey Horvath that they are replacing the apartment and condo building “master locks” that give mail carriers access to buildings. However at a recent meeting with the public at the condominium building at 906 N. Doheny Dr., representatives of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service offered only advice on protecting one’s mail, such as promptly moving it, and speculated on who the thieves might be (drug addicts). They refused say that steps, if any, the postal services is taking to better secure the mail carrier master locks that give access to apartment and condo buildings.

The rash of break-ins here and in other areas of Southern California apparently is the result of the failure of local Post Offices to secure master keys as required. As a result thieves are able to make copies of those keys and enter residential buildings and open their mail boxes.

WEHOville invites readers to continue to alert us to incidents in which people carrying U.S. Post Office master keys or copies of  keys have broken into apartment and condo buildings to steal mail. These thefts not only mean your valuable mail is lost. They also mean thieves have access to important information that can help them hack your bank account. And they mean obvious criminals have access to your apartment’s front door.

Thieves stealing mail at 718 N. Croft Ave. in June (date and time on photo are not accurate)
Thieves stealing mail at 718 N. Croft Ave. in June

We also encourage readers to reach out to their federal representatives, whose contact information is below, and ask what they are doing to hold the U.S. Postal Service accountable for these break-ins. And we encourage readers to continue to contact members of the West Hollywood City Council and ask them to take official action on the matter in the form of a resolution condemning the U.S. Postal Service for its inaction and demanding that our federal representatives take action on this matter. The Council also should ask the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, which is working with the Postal Inspection Service, to provide more detailed information, including the addresses of the buildings that have been broken into so that their residents can take steps to protect their property and themselves.

Meanwhile, WEHOville will continue to provide an updated list here of buildings whose residents say they have been broken into. If your building has been broken into by mailbox thieves, please send the address to Henry@WEHOville.com.

Here are the addresses of buildings in and around West Hollywood that WEHOville readers have identified as having been broken into by mailbox thieves:

1) 8811 Burton Way

2) 718 N. Croft Ave.

3) 855 N. Croft Ave.

4) 928 N. Croft Ave.

5) 8440 DeLongpre Ave

6) 906 N. Doheny Dr. (twice)

7) 964 Hancock Ave.

8) 1260 Havenhurst Ave.

9) 8530 Holloway Dr.

10) Holloway Dr.

11) 1010 N. Kings Rd. (four times)

12) 1250 N. Kings Rd.

13) 1539 N. Laurel Ave.

14) 1200 Olive Drive

15) 884 Palm Ave.

16) 939 Palm Ave.

17) 851 San Vicente Blvd.

18) 7949 Selma Ave.

19) 7941 Selma Ave.

20) 1203 N. Sweetzer Ave.

21) 8535 West Knoll Ave.

Contact information for West Hollywood City Council members

Contact them and ask that they contact the U.S. Postal Service’s district manager and U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff and Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein and demand that those federal representatives take action to ensure that the U.S. Postal Service reports the extent of the mailbox theft problem, the addresses of the buildings affected, the steps it will take to protect its master keys from theft in the future and when and where it will install new master locks.

— John D’Amico. jdamico@weho.org

— John Duran. jduran@weho.org

— John Heilman. jheilman@weho.org

— Lindsey Horvath. lhorvath@weho.org

— Lauren Meister. lmeister@weho.org

Contact information for federal representatives of West Hollywood residents

Contact the following elected officials and demand that they take action to ensure that the U.S. Postal Service reports the extent of the mailbox theft problem, the addresses of the buildings affected, the steps it will take to protect its master

A man preparing to steal mail on Dec. 7 from mailboxes at 906 Doheny Dr. (Image from building video)
A man preparing to steal mail on Dec. 7 from mailboxes at 906 Doheny Dr. (Image from building video)

keys from theft in the future and when and where it will install new master locks.

— U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, 28th Congressional District. 2411 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20515. Telephone: (202) 225-4174. Go to the Congressman’s contact page — http://schiff.house.gov/contact — where you will find a form to fill out to transmit an email message.

— U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, 112 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. Telephone: (202) 224-3553. Email: Senator@boxer.senate.gov.

— U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein, 331 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. Telephone: (202) 224-3841. Email: Senator@feinstein.senate.gov.

 

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mike dunn
6 years ago

For this to be going on for so long without any arrests it’s apparent there is a giant cover-up taking place with those in the know hoping the issue will go away. Either the FBI or a Special Congressional committee must take up the investigation independent of the USPS and the Obama Administration.

THERE IS A COVER UP. WE WANT ANSWERS NOW.

WeHo Resident
WeHo Resident
6 years ago

8960 Cynthia was hit last week (package theft, multiple items). No cameras in this building so thieves can come & go with impunity. Management’s solution? Have packages delivered elsewhere. When I asked if they’d reported the thefts, answer was no. *smh*

Mr. T.
Mr. T.
6 years ago

1010 N Kings Rd was hit yet again on February 3 at 11:33pm by the same woman who stole mail on January 28th at 12:10am. This time she had a male accomplice. She and he were caught on at least 6 cameras. This time of year is tax season, so I’m not surprised. The post office supervisor at 7610 Beverly Blvd said over 4,000 locks are being replaced — but only the outside locks. The powers that be who authorized the lock replacements came from a higher source (think CONGRESS). 1010 N Kings Road needs their inside arrow locks replaced… Read more »

mt
mt
6 years ago

You’re missing two at 1245 N Kings Rd

mike dunn
6 years ago

This all seemed to have started since the USPS decided to close our Post Office on San Vicente and move the carriers to the overburdened Post Office on Beverly Bl. outside of the City of West Hollywood. And for those who are unaware of why our Post Office was closed, it was because of the poor planning used when the NEW Beverly Hills Post Office was built with insufficient parking for their postal vehicles. So with their infident wisdom excess B.H. postal vehicles are now parked at the San Vicente site. Where I live on Olive Dr. we can not… Read more »

Z
Z
6 years ago

It’s time for a class action suit against the US Postal Service/Post Master for being so sloppy and not enforcing protocol regarding the use and issuing the master keys! Had they followed procedure we would know who made copies or lost copies of those master keys!! Incompetent and uncaring postmasters should be held accountable!!! This has been ongoing for years now, without reprocessing! Unacceptable!

luca d
luca d
6 years ago

i will say that these thieves are brazen. imagine with all the reporting on this issue, this theft continues. either they are stupid or nahhh, they are stupid.
hope they can link this young criminal to the origination of that key and chain of custody.

Mr. T
Mr. T
6 years ago

Well the latest incident at 1010 N Kings Road on January 28th was a little different this time since the USPS changed out the front call box key from an arrow key to the newer type. However, they DID NOT change out the arrow keys in the mail room! The perp got into the building by using a building key to our building, therefore making the new USPS lock useless. It never ends, but the perp was caught on a bunch of cameras and, hopefully, will be caught. This is ridiculous.

Stefen
Stefen
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. T

I talked with the USPS employee when he changed our Sweetzer Avenue front door USPS lock on January 23rd. He said there would be a second phase of lock changes to add the mailbox panels. He didn’t know when.

Lynn
Lynn
6 years ago
Reply to  Stefen

WeHo is not a very large haystack. Having been privy to a bank fraud/mail fraud investigation several years ago initiated by a phone call to the Treasury Department, I observed the postal inspectors to be the weak link and seemingly sandbag the operation ultimately preventing FBI involvement and the dots to connect. So the question is, who investigates postal?

J
J
6 years ago

The US Postal Inspector exercises the same authority and effectiveness as a child playing doctor with a toy stethoscope. Enough of this, we need to get the FBI involved.

JOE l
JOE l
6 years ago

Time to end the Democrat hegemony in California if you want to see meaningful change.

Randy
Randy
6 years ago

Stefen, is it really in the thousands? Is it inconceivable to have a different key for each building? I know that would require a keychain with dozens of keys on it, but it doesn’t make sense for one key to open multiple buildings, I don’t think. That’s too large of a point of failure.

If I were a building owner, I’d replace the lock myself. And give the post office a new set of keys. If that’s an option.

Stefen
Stefen
6 years ago
Reply to  Randy

West Hollywood has four zip codes. I live in 90069 which has 24 carrier routes. Assuming that each route has a different key (?), that key could access apartment buildings with as many as 1,159 mail boxes.

I’m not sure how to pull all the data from this 90069 web page, but it is revealing:

http://www.melissadata.com/lookups/CartZip.asp?Zip=90069

Stefen
Stefen
6 years ago

I don’t know how many thousands of buildings a single USPS key holder can enter, but it’s a lot. And the same key opens the front door and the bank of boxes. Changing all those locks and keys would be a massive undertaking. But changing one or the other, either the front door or the boxes, would actually offer more security and be somewhat less expensive. The carrier would then have two keys instead of one. Use West Hollywood as a test case.

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