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Chico neighborhood mail stolen, all caught on camera

Security footage captured the thieves getting out of their car, opening all of the mailboxes with what postal inspectors say is a possible counterfeit key.

Posted: Nov 20, 2020 11:44 PM

CHICO, Calif. - Mail stolen after thieves broke into a chico neighborhood mailbox-- and it was all caught on camera.

"It was rather shocking because you think you have your locked and secured boxes and that's what keeps your mail safe and then you come to find out it's just not," said Lori Carrick who is a video witness to the mail theft.

Neighbors walked up to their mailbox expecting mail like any other day, but when they opened it up, it was completely empty inside.

Security footage captured the thieves getting out of their car, opening all of the mailboxes with what postal inspectors say is a possible counterfeit key.

They take all the mail inside and drive away, all in less than 50 seconds.

"Just how fast and easy they were able to get the mail," said Carrick.

Mail theft is a federal crime with a penalty of up to five years in prison. What will the post office do to prevent this from happening, well they can't say?

"Do you change the locks, is there a more active route, what's kind of the process in that aspect?" asked Action News.

"There's a number of things that will be addressed. We'll be looking at security-related solutions but the thing is we don't want to discuss what those things are," said Jeff Finch, a postal inspector, and public information officer for the USPS. "Because we don't want to explain to anyone who knows the system of how this thing works."

So how can you prevent your packages from being stolen?

"If you're ordering something, have someone at the house when it's being delivered. If you're not gonna be home when the delivery time is, there are ways to have the package held or you could go pick it up."

"I don't think we would've known had they not had time to lock the mailbox back up, but it looked like they were in a hurry because of the car coming towards them," said Carrick.

The Chico Police Department says once reports of stolen items come in with footage of the suspects, it's often routine traffic stops that at times lead to their arrest because the officers recognize them.

If you have seen anyone matching the description in the video or the car, you are urged to call Chico PD. 

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We'll be dry and warm the next few days with strong winds Monday-Tuesday. We'll cool gradually through the week with a chance of showers Friday.
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