Editor’s Note: Emphases added.
Routine traffic stop turns into mail theft case
Daily Democrat – 12/3/09
(WOODLAND, CALIFORNIA) “An otherwise routine vehicle stop led to the arrest of a Woodland man who now stands accused of mail theft – a federal crime. Sgt. Bret Hancock reported the incident Wednesday morning. He said the initial traffic stop occurred around 12:50 a.m., Monday. That’s when a vehicle driven by 33-year-old Carlos Imbert was pulled over […]. Imbert, a Woodland man, was discovered to be in possession of a large quantity of mail belonging to other people, Hancock reported.
After further investigation, police concluded that Imbert had burglarized several mail boxes at the post office located at 720 Court St. in downtown Woodland. He reported that one week earlier, mail boxes had also been burglarized at the post office located at 108 W. Main St. […] Mail from that burglary was recovered inside his residence. “This incident is still under investigation by our department and the U.S. Postal Inspector as well,” Hancock reported.”
Co-defendant of Hill gatecrasher pleads guilty to federal charges
Standard-Examiner – 12/2/09
(SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH) “The co- defendant of the man who crashed a stolen vehicle into a Hill Air Force Base gate has pleaded guilty to two federal charges. [King] of Salt Lake City, appeared before U.S. Judge Dee Benson on Tuesday. King pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. […] According to court documents, officers found documents inside the vehicle indicating the two were working together and had obtained the identification of 59 people through burglaries and thefts.
[…] King faces a mandatory sentence of two years in a federal prison for the aggravated identity theft. […] Quintana has a trial set for Jan. 25 for his federal charges, which include conspiracy to commit bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, possession of stolen mail and destruction of property in the Special and Maritime Jurisdiction of the United States. […]”
Woodland Man Accused of Mail Theft
KCRA 3 – 12/2/09
(WOODLAND, CALIFORNIA) “A vehicle stop in Woodland led to the arrest of a man accused of mail theft, police said. At about 12:50 a.m. Monday, a vehicle driven by 33-year-old Carlos Imbert was pulled over for apparent vehicle code violations at Second and Cross streets. Imbert, a Woodland resident, was in possession of a large quantity of mail belonging to other people, investigators said. After further investigation, police concluded that Imbert had burglarized several mail boxes at the post office located at 720 Court St. A week prior, mail boxes were burglarized at the post office located on West Main Street. With this in mind, a search warrant was obtained and Imbert’s residence was searched. Mail from the earlier burglary was recovered inside his residence, police said. Imbert was booked at the Yolo County Jail on suspicion of burglary, possession of burglary tools and possession of stolen property.”
Police: Packages Stolen From Outside Bedford Homes
WMUR 9 – 12/1/09
(BEDFORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE) “A Bedford resident reported that some packages delivered to a home had been stolen. Police said the packages had been left on the steps of a McQuade Brook Road home and were stolen sometime between late afternoon and early evening Monday. Officers investigating the complaint found discarded packaging material from other packages that had been delivered to other homes. Police said they believe there were two other thefts in the area, from homes on Grafton and Wentworth drives. Anyone with information was asked to call Bedford police at 603-472-5113.”
Two more BHC mail theft suspects sentenced
Mohave Daily News – 11/30/09
(KINGMAN, ARIZONA) Two more suspects involved in a series of mailbox thefts in the Bullhead City area in May were recently sentenced in Superior Court to prison. […] Trials also have been set for two remaining codefendants. Bullhead City police officers arrested Welch, Bowersox and Marcum June 11 at a Krueger Lane home. Police searched the home and allegedly found stolen mail, drug paraphernalia and homemade counterfeit keys used to break into cluster mailboxes in 10 neighborhoods throughout the Bullhead City area. Also on June 11, Kingman police officers arrested Wheeler, Breitkopf and Currier for allegedly trying to cash stolen checks in Kingman. On June 12, Bullhead City police officers arrested Jackman in connection with the alleged mail thefts. Wolf turned herself in July 24. She was originally arrested June 5 for allegedly trying to pass a stolen check at a Needles bank.
Kelowna.com – 11/30/09
(KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA) “[…] Christie Ethier appeared anything but the convincing young con woman who concocted the fake identification necessary to drain $12,000 from other people’s bank accounts. The petite woman […] appeared in Kelowna provincial court this morning for sentencing on 15 counts relating to a seven-month crime spree that involved mail theft, fraud, personation, break and enters, and much more. By virtue of her young age, guilty pleas and lack of a prior criminal record, she escaped with a sentence of house arrest, along with a stern warning that the term could turn into real jail time if she violates any of the conditions attached to her punishment.
[…] Ethier was ordered not to possess break-in tools or identification, debit cards or credit cards that don’t belong to her, and must also complete 50 hours of community service. A year of probation with similar conditions is to follow. Chapman made a standalone restitution order under which three banks can go after Ethier for repayment of a total of $12,081.90.
Here, in chronological order, are the offenses for which Ethier was sentenced this morning:
*Nov. 3, 2008
Personation with intent to gain advantage; Theft under $5,000; Theft over $5,000
Using stolen mail, Ethier was able to get the necessary identification to obtain a replacement debit card on someone else’s account at a BMO branch in Kelowna. That card was then used to make withdrawals totalling $5,216.40. The same scheme was used to steal from another Kelowna women’s CIBC account this January, to the tune of $2,788.80.
*Nov. 7, 2008
Possession of stolen property under $5,000
A Money Mart employee in Kelowna called police after Ethier tried to cash two [checks] totaling $3,000 using a forged birth certificate and citizenship card to match one of the names on the notes. Ethier fled before cops arrived. The [checks] had been stolen from someone’s mail.
Dec. 19, 2008
Fraud under $5,000
*Jan. 5, 2009
Theft under $5,000
Cops respond to a theft complaint from one of the managers of an apartment building on the 1500 block of Spall Road in Kelowna. The manager had been reviewing surveillance video and saw Ethier take mail from mail boxes inside the building. Ethier managed to open the large panel covering all of the individual boxes, which are supposed to be accessible only by letter carriers and the box owners.
*April 22, 2009
Break and enter
A different manager at the same Spall Road apartment block spots Ethier on surveillance video as she uses a screwdriver to force her way into the building. Ethier leaves a few minutes later when she is unable to open the mail boxes.
*April 27, 2009
Break and enter
Same place, different time. Ethier is seen on video around 1 a.m. entering the apartment building after the entry door fails to latch behind a group of men that just left. Ethier then uses a key to open the mailboxes and is seen rooting through residents’ mail.
*May 9, 2009
Possession of break-in tools; Obstructing a peace officer
Just after 1 a.m., cops arrive at a condominium development on Franklyn Road and find residents holding Ethier. She had been caught inside a storage locker area located in a secure underground parking lot. A snowboard had been moved and padlocks cut off some of the lockers. Ethier gives police a fake name, and a screwdriver falls out of her pocket as she’s talking to the cops.
*May 15, 2009
Possession of break-in tools; Possession of crystal meth
Mounties on patrol spot a stolen car on Gibson Road and place it under surveillance. Officers pull over the driver and Ethier then emerges from the passenger side. She’s arrested and cops find a homemade mailbox key and crystal meth in her possession.
*May 28, 2009
Breach of recognizance (2); Breach of undertaking