More than 1,000 pieces of stolen mail, along with stolen credit cards and other evidence of identity theft, were recovered by Ripon police during arrests this week.
Three Stockton residents have been booked into jail on charges that include possession of stolen property, conspiracy and unlawful use of personal identification.
Officers were dispatched Wednesday to the Save Mart supermarket in Ripon on a report of people trying to pass a stolen, forged check. The caller gave a detailed description of the suspects and their vehicle, including the license plate number, according to a news release by Police Department spokesman Lt. Steve Merchant.
The vehicle, a white, 2017 GMC U-Haul truck, was stopped by officers in the parking lot of the Love's Travel Stop on West Colony Road.
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One of the occupants was on searchable probation, Merchant said. Another had an outstanding felony warrant for her arrest.
"While speaking to the occupants, officers determined the suspects could be involved in the theft of US mail," Merchant said in the release. "A vehicle search was conducted. Officers located over 1,000 pieces of stolen mail from Manteca and Elk Grove. "
Detectives joined the investigation and immediately called the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to assist.
The suspects arrested are Jeanne Macias Mendoza, 43; Lom Van Nguyen, 41; and Kimi Kollette Matsuno, 45.
In addition to the above charges faced by all, Mendoza is accused of providing false ID to police, possessing an altered, forged driver's license, possession of ID to commit forgery, having forged/false checks and possession of controlled-substance paraphernalia. Nguyen is assued of misappropriation of found property, having an altered, forged driver's license and providing false ID to an officer.
Detectives are working with other law enforcement agencies to identify additional victims, Merchant said. All told, more than 1,100 pieces of evidence were seized in the case, he said.
“If you believe you have been a victim of mail or ID theft, please call your local law enforcement agency and make a report," Merchant said. "This will aid in the prosecution of the persons involved.”
The Postal Inspection Service also has a hot line that should be called: 877-876-2455.
On its website, the Postal Inspection Service offers tips on protecting mail from theft, including:
Use the letter slots inside your post office for your mail, or hand it to a letter carrier.
Don't send cash in the mail.
Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don't leave it in your mailbox overnight. If you're expecting checks, credit cards, or other negotiable items, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail.
If you don't receive a check or other valuable mail you're expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.
If you change your address, immediately notify your post office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.