A large-scale investigation into a rising mail theft problem in Central California has prompted 21 federal indictments and six local charges.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said Wednesday some 2,100 victims of mail theft, totaling $400,000 in losses, had been identified by the federal-local initiative kicked off in April.
"Operation Broken Mailbox" has netted 21 people with federal indictments, plus six people have been charged in Sacramento and Kern County, Wagner said.
Investigators said there's a clear culprit to blame for the uptick in thefts.
“Where there’s meth, there’s mail,” said Gregory Campbell Jr., deputy chief postal inspector for western field operations.
Campbell explained that addicts have been known to look through mail for checks, credit cards, prescription drugs, or the information that would allow them to steal someone's identity in order to accommodate an addiction to methamphetamines.