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Deputies charge pair with mail theft

• Checks, Netflix DVDs among items taken in Saugus neighborhood.

Posted: April 10, 2008 1:29 a.m.
Updated: June 11, 2008 5:04 a.m.
 
Two suspected mail thieves were arrested in a Saugus neighborhood after a resident took action.

Edgard Nunez, 22, and Sarah Paloyo, 25, both of Granada Hills, were arrested around noon Monday after a tipster reportedly saw them taking items from several mail boxes in the 25400 block of Sheffield Lane.

Sheriff's deputies responded and detained the pair after finding numerous stolen items in their possession.

Further investigation by deputies reportedly led to the discovery in the suspects' vehicle of tools commonly used to commit burglaries or pry into mailboxes.

The stolen items, which included checks, credit card statements, and Netflix DVDs, belonged to individuals who lived in the immediate area.

The items were apparently taken from their mailboxes after being left as outgoing mail. Deputies identified at least five victims in the immediate area and believe the suspects may be responsible for other incidents of mail theft.

A mail carrier who handles delivery in the area told investigators that some mailboxes had their red outgoing mail indicator flags in the "up" position but did not have outgoing mail in them, which may be a sign that the mail was stolen. These thefts may not have been reported yet, as the victims may believe their mail was picked up by the carrier.

Sheriff's officials are encouraging all residents to hand their outgoing mail directly to a carrier or take it to a local postal drop-off point as opposed to leaving it in an unsecured mailbox and putting the red indicator flag up. There is no indication that any other areas of the Santa Clarita Valley have been affected, and deputies did not find any other mail in the suspects' possession.

Nunez and Paloyo were booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on felony charges of theft of United States mail and misdemeanor charges of identity theft and possession of burglary tools. They were each scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. They are being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each.

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