Man arrested on suspicion of stealing mail

September 7, 2011 2:00:44 PM PDT
Police arrested a 30-year-old Oakland man Tuesday on suspicion of stealing mail from residential mailboxes in the Western Hills neighborhood of Belmont, police said.

Jabari Holder was arrested and booked into San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City on suspicion of theft and possession of stolen property after police received three separate reports of a person stealing mail Tuesday morning.

Around 9:10 a.m., a resident in the 2800 block of Monte Cresta Drive reported interrupting someone who was taking mail. The resident said the suspect fled in a SUV-type vehicle.

Officers went to the neighborhood and began to search for the suspect.

Then, at 9:45 a.m., a resident of the 3300 block of Plateau Drive called police about another mail theft. Minutes later, a resident in the 3300 block of Lower Lock Avenue reported that someone driving a silver or gray van had just taken mail from that home.

Officers spotted the suspect's vehicle as it was entering state Highway 92 from Ralston Avenue and pulled it over. During the traffic stop, officers found pieces of mail from many Belmont addresses, police said.

The suspect, Holder, was then arrested and booked into county jail without incident, police said.

Investigators are still going through mail recovered from Holder's car, but police said as many as 25 homes may have been targeted.

Mail was taken from mailboxes on Monte Cresta Drive, Plateau Drive, Lower Lock Avenue, Belmont Canyon Road, Hillcrest Drive, Upper Lock Avenue and Reposo Way, police said.

About half of it was not postmarked and had been put into mailboxes by residents for collection.

Belmont police advise residents to put outgoing mail in official U.S. Postal Service mailboxes or go to the post office. They also urged residents to consider getting a locked mailbox to prevent mail theft.

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