Five Birmingham-area men indicted for illegally having USPS keys, stolen mail
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Five defendants are indicted in three separate cases involving illegally possessed USPS keys and stolen mail.
For unknown reasons, these crimes seem to be ramping up. US Attorney Prim Escalona says the crimes are a threat to postal workers and to the general public.
A Sept. 29 press release reads:
A two-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Khory Deontay Lowe, II, 18, and Dejuan Alexander Wallace, 41, both of Birmingham, with one-count of possession of stolen mail. Lowe was also charged with one-count of unlawful possession of a Postal Service key. The incident occurred in Madison County on September 6, 2022.
A Dec. 1 press release reads:
A three-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Cordarius Deshawn Hutchins, 25, of Birmingham, and Stevie Bernard Cole, 22, of Bessemer, with unlawful possession of a Postal Service key, possession of stolen mail, and wire fraud in February 2022.
A two-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Rodriquez Kershun Dukes, 25, of Birmingham, with unlawful possession of a Postal Service key, and possession of stolen mail in February 2022.
“It has not been common but it’s becoming increasingly so and it’s concerning,” she said.
Prim Escalona is the US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and has noticed an increase in the crimes in Birmingham and in Huntsville
She explains that the USPS keys can unlock the blue postal drop boxes seen around cities. She says they use the key to gain access to the mail inside and steal packages and letters.
“Why these individuals want that key is they want to be able to steal mail in bulk,” said Escalona. “It’s a lot easier to go to a collection bin and steal a whole bunch of mail and packages than maybe to go door to door.”
She says the stolen mail could be used for almost anything, like identity theft or bank account access, to simply stealing the valuables inside like gifts or money.
“What we see is that the thieves are coming in the amount of time -- basically overnight and they’re taking all those packages that people drop off on their way home that are a little bit past the time of collection,” explains Escalona.
USPS recommends either walking your mail inside or checking out the last collection time on the blue boxes before dropping off your mail. If the last pickup has already past, try again the next day.
“Just be aware of not letting things sit out in the public sphere for too long,” said Escalona.
If you think you may be a victim of stolen mail, make sure to let USPS and local law enforcement know about it.
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