Mail Theft Leads to High-Speed Chase as authorities in the Santa Rosa Valley had been conducting a four-month-long investigation into mail theft when they were surprised by a report detailing the suspect they were after. The investigation began when deputies at the Moorpark station were investigating reports of mail theft by a suspect in an older model Jaguar vehicle.
On the morning of February 17th, police received a call about a man in his 40s driving an older-model black Jaguar who was apparently stealing mail. When police located the suspect and attempted to perform a traffic stop, the suspect sped off and led police in a high-speed chase that, in some instances, reached speeds in excess of 120 mph. Police later called off the pursuit as it became too dangerous for the public.
Mail theft is covered under California Penal Code 530.5(e) PC and is described as:
- Taking or stealing any mail from a mailbox or receptacle or other authorized depositories for mail, or from a post office or mail carrier
- Use fraud or deception to attempt to obtain mail from any of the above sources
- Remove any contents of stolen mail
- Destroy or hide any stolen mail
- Buy, receive, or possess any stolen mail while knowing it was stolen
Mail theft is a misdemeanor in California that is punishable by up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Considering the suspect led police on a chase, it is likely that, if caught, he will face additional charges including, but not limited to, resisting arrest and endangering the public.