Los Angeles News

Hollywood mail thieves possibly used mail master key

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A rash of mail thefts have been plaguing Los Angeles apartment buildings. Residents of a building in Hollywood believe the save thieves struck for a second time Saturday.

A suspected mail thief and a companion were caught on surveillance video entering an apartment building on the 7200 block of Hilldale Avenue around 1 a.m.

Moments later, the man enters the mailroom and appears to use a master key to open the boxes.

"I see a gentleman, who is not a tenant of the building, or guest of anybody in the building, open the front door with a key, open the mail room door with a key, and then take out a postal key, and actually open the mail boxes," said resident manager Paul Sarnoff.

Sarnoff manages another apartment building on Franklin Avenue in Hollywood.

He believes the man captured on video is the same man who used a master key to steal mail at that building last fall. He says the man came to his office, claiming he was there to pick up a package for a tenant.

"I did not recognize him, and when I challenged him he bolted, and about two nights later, I saw on KABC news that it was the same fellow who had been breaking into mail rooms and stealing mail," said Sarnoff.

Residents believe the thief has struck before, stealing credit card and social security numbers and committing identity theft.

The building's managers say they plan to file a report on the incident with police and say they'll likely take steps to increase security.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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burglary, hollywood, los angeles news, amy powell
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