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Police seek clues in apartment mailbox thefts

Wilsonville-area complexes hit by thieves targeting group mail boxes


by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Wilsonville Police are investigating a series of thefts from mailboxes at local apartment complexes, including this one at the Hathaway Court Apartments on SW Wilsonville Road. Mailboxes at apartment complexes around Wilsonville have been targeted by thieves in recent weeks.

According to Wilsonville Police, mailboxes at three Wilsonville-area complexes — the Madison Boulder Creek Apartments, Hathaway Court Apartments and the Madison Bridge Creek Apartments — were broken into by an unknown individual who is apparently timing the thefts to occur after mail delivery takes place but before the bulk of residents return to their apartments from work in the evening.

Wilsonville Police are now working with U.S. Postal Service inspectors to investigate the thefts. Mail carriers initially noticed the rash of break-ins three weeks ago and contacted police.

Wilsonville Police Sgt. Dan Kraus said the suspect is apparently targeting large parcel boxes used by postal carriers to store packages for pickup. Each parcel box has a key that is left in an individual post box when an item is ready for pick-up. The absence of that key from the parcel box, however, can be a tip off that something is inside.

“It’s the post office at the apartments, if you will,” Kraus said. “There are metal doors with the key, and if you receive a package, what it appears to be is if the bad guys see there’s a key (not) in the package box then they break open the lock and steal the package out of it. It’s happened multiple times at these four addresses.”

Stealing or tampering with the mail is technically a federal crime, so the potential penalties are severe on paper. Kraus said it remains unknown exactly how many thefts have taken place and what was stolen during those incidents.

“We’re getting together with the postal inspectors,” Kraus said. “But we thought it was useful to put out information about it. It’s entirely possible it’s happening during the day or early evening. Most people check their mail daily, so the opportunity to do this seems relatively limited.”

The addresses of the four mailboxes hit by thieves are:

* 6600 SW Wilsonville Road; Madison Boulder Creek Apartments

* 6851 SW Wilsonville Road; Hathaway Court Apartments

* 6935 SW Wilsonville Road; Hathaway Court Apartments

* 29697 SW Rose Lane; Madison Bridge Creek Apartments

Anyone with information about suspects involved with these thefts is asked to call Wilsonville Police at 503-682-1012 or the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office tipline at 503-723-4949. You can also use the CCSO email submission form on the sheriff’s office website, Clackamas.us/sheriff.




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