East Bay News

El Cerrito police alerting residents to recent mail thefts

Sunday, October 14, 2012

An East Bay community is on alert this weekend after a series of mail thefts. It's happening in El Cerrito in the Arlington neighborhood near Cutting Boulevard. However, neighbors have the advantage of capturing the thefts on surveillance video.

"Here he's on the property, he's running up past our car, he has a cigarette in his hand," one victim said.

ABC7News has agreed not to use the victim's name and in exchange he agreed to walk us step by step through images of the alleged thief - caught on his home surveillance system. "He's looking for witnesses, quickly grabs the mail, turns back around, quickly looks down the hill, he obviously has the mail in his possession," he said.

Police say the suspect may be responsible for several thefts in the neighborhood.

"Over the course of about the past week we've had approximately four incidents of mail theft in El Cerrito. The incidents have happened in the area of Cutting Boulevard and Arlington Boulevard," officer JT Warhrlich said.

The resident who got this surveillance video says this alleged thief made off with a cashier's check from his mailbox. Another resident says someone stole a package right off her front steps.

This is an area that neighbors say has been safe and they try to keep an eye on each other's property. "We find out more about it now since we have a neighborhood watch, where emails are exchanged between neighbors," Ernestine Warren said.

One of the biggest concerns by investigators when someone rifles through someone else's mailbox is the possibility of identity theft. "There may be account information in there, depending on if it's bank statements or financial statements," Warhrlich said

Thanks to this surveillance video, police have some excellent images of their suspect and the vehicle he drove off in. They believe it's a silver or white Chevrolet Cobalt.

Police say there have been four thefts reported in the last week, but there is a possibility there are more victims. Police are hoping residents closely monitor their accounts and contact detectives if they believe they may also have been one of the victims of these crimes.

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el cerrito, crime, east bay news
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