We wanted to take a moment to update our community on a string of mail thefts that have plagued our residents over the last several months.
Today, we are pleased to announce the arrest of seven individuals connected to multiple mail thefts in Mountain View.
Beginning in August 2018, MVPD Crime Suppression Unit detectives began investigating a series of burglaries where suspects were able to enter apartment complexes, often with empty duffel bags, and, using counterfeit US Postal Master Keys, open entire mailbox banks and steal mail. The suspects have targeted locations including the 1900 block of West El Camino Real, the 800 block of West El Camino Real, the 500 block of San Antonio Road, and the 1000 block of Castro Street. Oftentimes, we discovered the suspects would commit these crimes in the early morning hours, and on more than one occasion, these thefts were captured on surveillance video.
Over the course of several months, our detectives were able to identify and arrest several different individuals and groups committing these crimes. On October 27, the first suspect was captured after she led Santa Cruz-area deputies in a vehicle pursuit. When San Jose resident Brianna Jensen, 25, was arrested, she was in possession of mail from the 800 block of West El Camino Real, along with a counterfeit US Postal Master key.
On December 31, 39-year-old San Jose resident Melissa Henry was arrested by Mountain View police after she attempted to use a stolen credit card to purchase gift cards at a CVS, located on the 2600 block of West El Camino Real. Henry was accompanied by 39-year-old Andrew Perez of San Jose at the time of her arrest. At the time of their arrest, Henry and Perez were found to be in possession of over 100 pieces of stolen mail from the 500 block of San Antonio Road, counterfeit US Postal Master keys, over half a pound of methamphetamine, and several counterfeit California driver’s licenses.
On Jan. 2, 31-year-old Brenden Mackay of Milpitas was arrested on the 2200 block of Showers Drive Mountain View after he was seen wandering through an underground parking garage looking into the vehicles. When he was arrested, Mackay was found to be in possession of mail stolen from the 500 block of San Antonio Road. He was also found in possession of a counterfeit California driver’s license with a stolen identity, a counterfeit US Postal Master key, and a US Postal mail lock.
And finally, in the early morning hours on Jan. 12, patrol officers spotted a gold Mercedes that was known to be connected to a prior residential burglary and mail theft, driving into an apartment complex located on the 1600 block of West El Camino Real. Our officers, aware that the area had been a target for mail thefts in the past, conducted a car stop. The driver initially provided a false name, but officers quickly identified her as 41-year-old San Jose resident Sabrina Abad. While speaking with her, not only did our officers discover shaved keys, counterfeit mail keys and a substantial amount of stolen mail and stolen credit cards, they also noticed that a man named Steven Ross kept calling her on her cell phone. Ross, a 34-year-old San Jose resident, was known to officers as a wanted suspect in connection with multiple mail thefts, walked out of a footpath nearby on Mariposa Avenue, and officers detained him without incident. While officers were interviewing Ross, a suspicious black Chevrolet Tahoe, being driven by a woman later identified as Amanda Pappas, drove slowly away on El Camino Real. Officers in the area conducted a traffic stop and spoke with Pappas. In speaking with her, they learned she had a felony warrant out for her arrest for vehicle theft. A search of her car revealed methamphetamine, methamphetamine pipes, and several items connected to identity theft.
“It cannot be overstated how much time and effort Mountain View detectives put into these cases,” said Sgt. Chris Goff. “Their dedication to relentlessly pursuing these suspects is something I am very proud of.”
Mountain View detectives, in addition to working long hours together, also worked with the US Postal Inspectors, whose assistance in these cases has been invaluable. We extend our sincere appreciation for all they have done to assist us. We’d also like to add that the US Postal Inspectors have filed multiple charges against several of these suspects. We have returned or are in the process of returning the stolen mail, credit cards and identities to victims.
As we, along with the US Postal Inspectors, continue to investigate and identify additional suspects, we ask that Mountain View residents that have mailboxes in mailbox banks or who have mailboxes that are easily accessible (such as a standalone mailbox along the curb), to please check and pick up your mail daily. We also ask that you report any suspicious person or persons you see loitering nearly mailbox banks and to be aware of strangers who may follow you around your secured apartment complexes.
We will continue to update our residents as additional arrests are made. Anyone who wishes to report stolen mail can do so by filing a report online at mvpd.gov or by calling us at 650-903-6344. Please also file a report for stolen mail with the US Postal Service. Media inquiries regarding these cases can be sent to PIO Katie Nelson at email@example.com