A man who was busted in possession of a forged Connecticut driver’s license admitted to using a postal key to steal undelivered mail from a USPS mailbox in Westchester last year.
Bronx resident James Rodriguez, 31, pleaded guilty on Thursday, Sept. 17 in Westchester County Court to a pair of felony charges after he was busted stealing mail in Mount Vernon last year.
Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino Jr. said that at approximately 12:30 a.m. on May 3 last year, Rodriguez was caught stealing mail from the blue USPS mailbox on East Sandford Boulevard.
Scarpino said at the time he was arrested, Rodriguez was in possession of an official postal “arrow” key, which is assigned to postal workers who collect mail, and used the key to remove mail from the mailbox.
It is unclear how Rodriguez came into possession of the key.
According to Scarpino, investigative teams were watching that specific mailbox because it had been hit before.
Following the theft, Rodriguez was arrested in a nearby parking lot. At the time, he possessed pieces of fake identification including a forged Connecticut driver’s license, as well as mail from the mailbox which included loose checks.
Among the checks stolen, there was one for more than $3,000 among them.
Specifically, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument for possessing the Connecticut driver’s license, and criminal possession of stolen property after he stole a check worth more than $3,000 from the mail he had stolen.
Scarpino noted that mail thieves not only use the ready money–cash, gift cards or checks–they may find in the mail, but they often sell personal identifying information which may be found on medical bills, credit card, or bank statements to others on the dark web, who are experts in identity theft.
“Mail theft hurts all of us," he added. "From the victims of stolen checks to the victims of identity theft. It undermines our confidence in sending mail, and it interrupts receiving mail, which can include time-sensitive materials, bills, gift cards, or checks which may be an important lifeline for the recipient. We continue to work with our law enforcement partners in the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and local police departments to catch these criminals and disrupt their enterprise."
Rodriguez is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 21 next year.
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