‘Tis the season … for mailbox theft. Dan Stork reports on a overnight spike in this holiday-time crime…
Saturday morning, residents of the Monument Manor area of Joshua Tree discovered that banks of locked mailboxes along Quail Springs Road had been broken into and cleared out.

Sheriff’s Deputy Leach dusts mangled mailboxes for prints in Joshua Tree.

Sheriff’s Deputy Leach, who examined the mangled back access panels of the boxes around 9 am on Saturday, said that that he was not used to seeing entry forced so “aggressively.” Other recent mailbox thefts have occurred in Twentynine Palms and the Buena Vista area of Yucca Valley. Saturday afternoon, a man walking his dogs south of Buena Vista in Yucca Valley found a pile of mail, with envelopes opened and emptied, with Monument Manor addresses. When contacted about this find, Deputy Leach told us that another cache of dumped mail had been found as well. He added that a thief or thieves had cut a swath through Morongo Basin mail boxes the previous night. Joshua Tree post office personnel told us that residents should pick up their mail at the post office until the boxes are repaired. The holiday season, with its expectation of checks and gift cards in the mail, is a favorite time for mailbox thieves.

Sheriff’s deputies made an arrest Thursday of a man suspected of stealing mail out of mail boxes in Twentynine Palms. According to Sheriff’s Sergeant Rick Millard, about 3:30 a.m. Thursday morning, a woman noticed a dark-colored SUV driving eastbound, on the wrong side of the road in the 73100 block of Sun Valley Drive. The vehicle stopped at every mailbox and the driver appeared to be shining a flashlight into the mailboxes. Deputy Brad Heard was nearby and initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle. The driver and sole occupant, Anthony Logan, 24, initially gave a false name to the deputy. Deputy Heard determined that Logan was under the influence of a controlled substance and arrested him. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, the deputy discovered shopping bags filled with hundreds of pieces of mail. Some of the envelopes had been opened with vehicle registrations and gift cards removed; other mail was still unopened. Anthony Logan was arrested for investigation of burglary and possession of stolen property. He was booked into the Morongo Basin Jail with his bail set at $25,000. The unopened pieces of mail were returned to the post office for redelivery. The investigation is ongoing. Logan remains in custody.

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