3 arrested for mail theft as cases rise across Central CA

Brianna Willis Image
Thursday, April 4, 2024
3 arrested for mail theft as cases rise across Central CA
Three people are in custody, accused of stealing mail in two Central Valley cities.

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Three people are in custody, accused of stealing mail in two Central Valley cities.

It happened in the Riverstone Community at Highway 41 and Avenue 12.

Opening your mailbox and not finding what you expected is nothing new, especially at this time of year.

"The first quarter of the year is always the biggest. It's tax season, and a lot of important documents are being mailed out to people throughout the community," said Corporal Jordan Hunter with the Clovis Police Department.

In Clovis alone, the police department says they've already had 60 reports of mail theft this year.

Last year, they had 284, with 111 in the first quarter of the year.

Now, law enforcement agencies across the Central Valley are taking action to keep mail theft criminals off the streets.

Monday morning, Clovis police arrested 35-year-old Gary Dishjian who's suspected of tampering with community mailboxes and trying to hide items in his car.

"Several pieces of mail, about a trash bag full of stolen mail located in the vehicle, along with burglary tools including counterfeit mailbox keys and also drug paraphernalia," said Hunter.

The Clovis Police department also worked with the Madera County Sheriff's office to arrest 41-year-old Yer Vue and 35-year-old Amanda Lizarraga, suspected of stealing mail in the Riverstone community.

"I've had personally my W2s stolen, a wedding gift and then also a deposit refund check that I had to have re-issued," said Riverstone resident, Sierra Scott.

The sheriff's office says the suspects used shaved keys to access the mail boxes, so there doesn't appear to be any physical damage.

"They'd open up the back of those mailboxes, take the mail out and then close the mailbox back, so a lot of times people don't even know that their mail was stolen," said Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue.

That's why you should sign up for the Postal Service's Informed Delivery, which scans and emails you pictures of the mail you can expect to receive.

Sheriff Pogue says this isn't the first time the suspects have been arrested for this type of crime.

"Lizarraga has a prior identity theft conviction, as well as Vu is also wanted on some other charges of mail theft unrelated to our case, so it does appear that this is a part of their past and their kind of ongoing criminal enterprise," said Sheriff Pogue.

While Scott is glad people are now in custody, she hopes the crime will stop and has this message for the thieves.

"You're going to get caught at some point, and really, is it worth going to jail for having a package, a $500 check, things of that sort," said Scott.

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