Los Angeles News

Hollywood mail thief seen in more surveillance videos

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A man seen on surveillance video is a wanted mail thief targeting buildings in Hollywood, but what makes his crimes so unusual is that it appears he's using a master postal key to get inside and to open the mailboxes -- a key that is only supposed to be used by letter carriers.

"We are actually very concerned that somebody had access to our building. We have very good security in this place. So we reviewed the footage and we realized that somebody was using the master postal key to get in, and of course we were very alarmed," said a resident who did not want to be identified.

The resident says she knows the suspect has hit the building in the 7100 block of Hawthorn Avenue four times, each time coming with different accomplices. In the fourth attempt, the suspect and a female partner couldn't get in because the building had changed the master key, but someone opened the door for them.

They bear a striking resemblance to the couple captured on security cameras getting into a building on Franklin Avenue and stealing a package filled with $5,000 of clothes.

"What we would like the public to know is that it is a federal crime to possess that key and it is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison," said Renee Focht, a U.S. Postal inspector.

The Postal Service says it's relatively rare for master keys to be stolen or counterfeited. Officials are hoping the surveillance video will help identify the suspects.

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hollywood, los angeles news, leanne suter
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