Caught On Tape: Thieves Stealing Mail From Hollywood Apartment Complex

(FOX 11) - Surveillance pictures from a Hollywood apartment complex show a young woman, not dressed as a United States Postal worker using a skeleton key to sift through every single mailbox. After finding a package full of computer accessories she walks out the door.

The pictures were taken in January. The victim, who asked FOX 11 to protect his identity, says he filed a report with the police and the US Postal Inspectors Service, but doesn't believe the woman in the video has ever been caught.

In February, A woman who asked to be called "Camille" says the same thing happened to her and the 12 other homeowners in her complex, except shed says it was two men.

Camille says the her building also caught them on surveillance video using a US Postal Service skeleton key as well.

"It's a violation, it's scary, you don't feel protected and powerless, but what can we do, what can we do about this," Camille said. She also asked FOX 11 to protect her identity worried about the thieves coming back to her home.

"They have all my information," she said; "Some people have had issues with identity theft and this can go on for years."

Fast forward to April 15th, Tax Day, a woman in South LA contacted FOX 11 after finding dozens of peoples checks and other personal information on her front yard. Some of those items had been mailed out by a FOX 11 employee from his Playa Vista home the day before.

Renee Focht, an inspector with the US Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Branch that investigates mail theft. She says all the crimes where a skeleton was used are under investigation.

"Counterfeit arrow keys or even the position of an actual arrow key is a federal offense if you are not a postal employee. it's punishable by up to 10 years. so, if anybody has video to turn that over," Focht said.

Focht says people need to be vigilant whenever the put items in the mail. Camille says..she and the others in her building are vigilant, but still they became victims and it's affecting her complex.

"You don't know how long they can hold on to your information or what can happen down the line," so you're just in this hyper sensitive state, where you have to be on guard all the time because you don't know when the other shoe is going to drop," Camille said.

Read below for tips from the USPIS on how to keep your mail safe.

Use the letter slots at your post office to mail letters, or give them to a letter carrier.Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don't leave it in your mailbox overnight. Don't send cash in the mail.


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