Tip leads to recovery of suspected stolen mail

LAKE STEVENS — A neighbor with a sharp eye got detectives going on a massive stolen mail case in Lake Stevens this fall.

The neighbor called 911 about 9 a.m. Nov. 6. She could see a woman dumping what appeared to be mail in the trash at her condo complex along 96th Avenue NE.

A Lake Stevens police officer found a woman matching the description sitting nearby in a car.

“He could see a large amount of mail in the vehicle that did not appear to be addressed to her,” detective Jerad Wachtveitl said.

The woman gave three or four conflicting stories about why she had the mail, including claiming that she found it on the side of the road, Wachtveitl said. More than 25 pieces of mail could be seen covering the passenger side floorboard alone, he said.

Officers impounded the car and got a judge’s permission to search it. They found an estimated 350 pieces of suspected stolen mail, mostly from Lake Stevens and Marysville, Wachtveitl said.

Detectives, who are still investigating, want to determine how the woman got the mail.

Mail theft most often is a springboard for identity theft, Wachtveitl said. Mail gets sold on the black market for money or drugs. People also look for checks to cash.

The woman, 32, of Snohomish County, remains free while detectives collect potential evidence. Police are working with an inspector from the United States Postal Service to identify and contact victims, Wachtveitl said. Mail theft is a felony under state law.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

Tips to avoid mail theft

Check mail often. Use a locked mailbox or P.O. Box whenever possible.

If you’re leaving town, ask the post office for a mail hold.

Call 911 if you see anyone suspicious hanging out by a mailbox or if anyone seems to be following mail carriers or other delivery people.

Source: Lake Stevens police

More in Local News

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

1 person shot in Everett thrift store parking lot

Multiple people called 911 after overhearing a loud argument and then multiple gunshots.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

One dead in crash south of Granite Falls

Two cars collided near the intersection of N. Lake Roesiger Road and Hidden Valley Road.

Old Silvana Creamery recalling whole raw milk

The milk was sold at the farm store, directly to customers and at local stores.

Signs show the rates for using the express toll lanes for traffic headed southbound on Interstate 405, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Bothell, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Tuesday to try to decrease congestion on I-405 in answer to commuter complaints that the new express lane tolling system is making traffic worse. The governor said he would not be shutting down the tolling system as some people have called for. But the state transportation department is making plans to add new northbound general purpose lanes to ease some of the congestion and also plan to make it easier to move into and out of the express lanes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
If drivers paid even more, I-405 toll lanes might speed up

A report recommends lifting the maximum toll of $10 and varying it by segment traveled.

Departing mayor’s locally drawn portrait joins city’s pantheon

Artist Elizabeth Person’s portrait of Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will hang with others at City Hall.

Investigation recommends girl shot by officers face charges

The teen is accused of assaulting her boyfriend and the responding police officers.

Most Read