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

Mayor tries new tactic to curb fire department overtime

Stephanson says an engine won’t go into service when the only available staff would be on overtime.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Paine Field fire chief will be allowed to retire

In his letter, the airport director noted Jeff Bohnet was leaving while under investigation.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

Lynnwood man allegedly cuts Marysville’s 911 dispatch wires

The man reportedly told police he intended to trade the wires for drugs.

Ian Terry / The Herald Westbound cars merge from Highway 204 and 20th Street Southeast onto the trestle during the morning commute on Thursday, March 30 in Lake Stevens. Photo taken on 03302017
Pay a toll on US 2 trestle? 10,000 say no on social media

A GOP lawmaker’s chart shows theoretical toll rates of up to $6.30 to cross the trestle one way.

Most Read