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Mail theft continues through holidays, 79 victims identified
Bainbridge police have identified at least 79 victims of mail theft since Dec. 21.
Within days of each other, police received two reports of residents finding abandoned bags of loose mail, one report involving a suspicious person standing near a mailbox and another report of a damaged mailbox.
In the earliest of the four reports, a green plastic bag was discovered on Saturday, Dec. 21 in the recycling bin of a Fletcher Bay residence. The bag contained numerous pieces of unopened mail from across the island.
Police counted 173 pieces of mail, including seven opened items. The mail named 65 victims, all of which were addressed to Manzanita Bay residences. The majority were addressed to residents of Olympic Terrace Avenue and Bayview Boulevard.
The opened mail contained items ranging from holiday cards to bank and credit card letters.
A second incident occurred just a few days later when a Fletcher Bay resident reported that her daughter had found their locking mailbox could not be opened.
The previous day, the mailbox had been working properly.
This time, it appeared that a piece of metal was lodged inside the lock to a point that the box could not be opened without permanently damaging the lock.
The damaged mailbox was closely followed by a third report on Tuesday, Dec. 24. A south island woman told police she arrived home at about 6 p.m. the previous evening. As she drove up to her house, she saw a 14- or 16-year-old boy wearing a blue-green jacket, stocking cap, jeans and carrying a white duffel bag. The woman told police that her first thought was that he was stealing from her mailbox.
The boy continued walking, and she found her mailbox empty. However, she called a neighbor who told her the mail had not yet been delivered.
Two hours later, the neighbor called back to say it had arrived. The woman did not get a chance to check her mailbox until the following morning. It was again empty.
Post office officials told her that mail had been delivered the night before, as her neighbor had said.
A second bag of mail was discovered Saturday, Dec. 28 in a white plastic bag on the side of the road on Skogen Lane.
The bag contained items postmarked on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21 that were addressed to 14 north island residents. Three of the items had been opened.
Of the opened items, police found a package of food sent directly from Japan and an American Eagle gift card holder.
Police were able to lift latent fingerprints from both surfaces.