Mail Theft Caught on Camera Twice in LA Building

Surveillance video captured images of suspected mail theft on two different occasions, putting residents in the West Hollywood building on alert Tuesday.

In the video captured at the apartments in the 300 block of South Sherbourne Drive, two women can be seen acting casually as they approach the mailboxes with what appears to be a counterfeit postal key.

As the women scoop up their belongings, one sees a plant and decides to stuff that in her purse too.

It was the missing plant that prompted the manager, Scott Ward, to review the security footage.

"When I saw them take the plant, I thought, 'Boy, they really blew it,' because I really wouldn't have known that they were here," Ward said.

He filed a report with the United States Postal Service.

"The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, a federal law enforcement agency, is investigating those incidents," the Postal Service said in a statement to NBC4.

Ward put up a poster warning his tenants that thieves may be on the prowl, but last weekend, the poster was gone.

He checked the video again, and this time he saw a man with a key looting the mailbox. The video showed the man, with a Chihuahua in tow, going inside to try to find packages.

"I think the dog is kind of a cover," Ward said.

Ward said other apartments have reported theft, but it's hard to know how often it happens.

Ward said the stolen plant it's not even a real plant; it's plastic.

Ward said he plans to file a police report that he hopes could lead to an investigation of mail theft, which is a federal offense. 

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