Mail Thieves Targeting Inland Empire Residents

Surveillance video shows a pair of thieves following just a few minutes behind package delivery trucks.

A pair of alleged thieves may be stealing packages off the front porches of homes in the High Desert, and now residents are hoping new surveillance video may help identify them.

Investigators with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department are warning residents to take extra safety steps with their mail after video was recovered showing the two following just five minutes behind a letter carrier.

In the video, the postal worker was seen making deliveries along Bangor Avenue in Hesperia. A few minutes later, an SUV pulled up into the driveway with a woman behind the wheel. She parked right in front of the house, and someone got out of the vehicle on the passenger side.

Moments later, the car sped away.

The victim, who did not want to be identified, said the suspects stole an Amazon package delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. He said it was only worth about $40, but it’s the third time it’s happened to him. The thefts, he said, are why he’s put up cameras.

"I wish I had mine on.. I had a camera that wasn't on at the time," neighbor Marcel Cervinka said.

Cervinka said he got a message a few days ago that UPS had delivered a package to his home, but he never got it and he believes he’s a victim, too.

"It was just a light post cover for one of my customers," he said.

Daniel Dominguez said he’s also frustrated. He’s waited for more than a week for a package from his son, who lives in San Francisco.

"He says it should have been here three days ago,” he said. “He knows about that kind of stuff."

The U.S. Postal Service, as well as the Sheriff’s Department, have launched investigations into the mail thefts. They said they believe the crooks are following the delivery trucks and simply picking up the packages that are dropped off.

They have advised residents to take extra precautions.

"Having the company deliver the package to possibly a back porch, if you have a trusting neighbor you would like to have delivered to, or possibly pick up your package at a distribution center,” are all options, said Sheriff’s Department Spokeswoman Jodi Miller.

Dominguez said, for now, those are good options.

"And that's what we'll do,” he said. “We'll keep a better eye on it." 

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