A 30-year old Oakland man was arrested by Belmont police on Tuesday under suspicion of stealing mail from a dozen residential mailboxes in several Belmont neighborhoods.
At approximately 9:10 a.m. Tuesday, a resident in the 2800 block of Monte Cresta Dr. reported just interrupting a suspect who was taking mail from the resident’s mailbox. The suspect reportedly then fled an SUV-type vehicle.
While officers searched for the suspect, they received another report of mail theft in the 3300 block of Plateau Dr., and minutes later, another report that a suspect driving a silver van-type vehicle had just taken mail from their mailbox in the 3300 block of Lower Lock Ave.
The officers stopped the vehicle a short time later as it was entering eastbound Highway 92 from Ralston Avenue. During the traffic stop, officers allegedly located mail from multiple Belmont addresses inside the vehicle.
Jabari Holder was arrested without incident and booked into San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City on suspicion of theft and possession of stolen property charges.
While the case is still under investigation, police found mail in the Holder’s car from mailboxes on Monte Cresta Dr., Plateau Dr., Lower Lock Ave., Belmont Canyon Rd., Hillcrest Dr., Upper Lock Ave., and Reposo Way. They believe the total number of victims could be as high as 25.
About half the mail recovered in Holder’s vehicle was not post-marked, and had been put out by residents for collection.
“Our officers will be contacting the residents whose mail was recovered from Holder’s vehicle,” said Chief Don Mattei in a statement. “We are also in contact with the Postal Inspection Service and working closely with them on this investigation.”
“I would like to commend the alert residents who called 9-1-1; without them we would have not caught this suspect as quickly as we did,” Mattei added.
Police used this opportunity to remind residents to only use official US Postal Service Mailboxes, or go to the Post Office to send mail. They also suggest getting a locking mailbox to prevent theft.