Rash of mail thefts west of Tucson

Published: Aug. 8, 2017 at 1:30 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 11:15 AM MST
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Mail found left in desert. (Source: Tucson News Now)
Mail found left in desert. (Source: Tucson News Now)
Mailboxes left open. (Source: Diamond Zaferis)
Mailboxes left open. (Source: Diamond Zaferis)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The U.S. Postal Service is investigating after a rash of recent mail thefts west of Tucson.

It's happening near the Three Points area, not far from Ajo Highway and Sasabe Road.

There is a cluster of 100 mailboxes situated along Sierrita Mountain Road. Neighbors told Tucson News Now they're fed-up. Over the past month their bills and bank statements are being swiped right out of their mailboxes.

"They're robbing people," Joe Cournoyer said.

Mail is rifled through and envelopes have been ripped open.

"Registered mail – well, they'll never get it," Cournoyer said.

Joe Cournoyer discovered heaps of mail left scattered in the desert.

"They're taking people's personal information and using it for their own good," Cournoyer said.

"Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth," Diamond Zaferis said as he showed us his baseball cards.

Zaferis collects rookie baseball cards. Last month he ordered some on Ebay, but never got them.

"It showed right on the post office slip they'd been delivered, right on my tracking number - about $800 that I spent on baseball cards and I didn't receive a one," Zaferis said.

He showed us a picture he took of the mailboxes – all left open. We took his concerns to U.S. Postal Inspector David Birch. He said mail thefts in rural areas, are all too common.

"It's convenient for the mail carrier, convenient for the resident to be able to pull up in one place, but unfortunately also convenient for the criminal," Birch said.

Two other things Birch said were in the criminal's favor, a lack of homes near the boxes, and a slimmer chance of getting caught. Meanwhile Zaferis isn't taking any more chances with his bills or baseball cards. He's now having his mail delivered to a friend's house.

"I feel like everybody else is getting ripped off and somebody's got to do something about it," Zaferis said.

CRIME COVERAGE: The KOLD News 13 mugshots of the month are available HERE.

Some neighbors are now using padlocks to keep the criminals out. The U.S. Postal Service plans to have inspectors take a close look at the problem in this neighborhood.

For more information on how to report mail theft, click here: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/

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