Mailbox break-ins have residents of a Northwest Fresno neighborhood feeling targeted

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- There are rumors of what the suspects look like or how they're doing it, but all residents of one Northwest Fresno neighborhood know for sure they're being targeted.

There's been a recent rash of mailbox break-ins along Alluvial Avenue near the San Joaquin Country Club. "They hit quite a few, postman said about 50 or 60," said Karen Cartozian, who believes her locked mailbox was pried open sometime early Monday morning.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is now actively working these mailbox break-in investigations in the Fresno area. They say these crimes are a federal offense and are asking anyone with information to not only file a police report, but to contact them at 877-876-2455. They have a standing $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. "It's not just reporting the break-in, but if any of the mail was taken, if somebody sees unusual activity in their credit card statements or their bank account statements, to contact us again, and that's the information that is very helpful in identifying the individual that is behind this," said Postal Inspector Spokesman Jeff Fitch.

Residents say this is nothing new. Art Bryce says thieves took medicine that was delivered to his unlocked mailbox six months ago. Since then, he's converted important mailings to online statements. "I think it's a very quiet neighborhood and you don't notice the people, you don't hear anything," Bryce said. "It's also a nice neighborhood too, so there's people (that) have things in their cars or in their mailboxes."

Other residents here say it's unsettling and hard to feel safe when this is happening right outside their front doors.

Now that their mailbox has been quickly repaired, the Cartozians just hope the criminals are caught soon. "It's just something I guess the times we're in, it's what happens," Karen Cartozian said.
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