Felon caught with gun, drugs and thousands of pieces of mail including suspected recall ballots

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TORRANCE, CA – According to a Facebook post from the Torrance Police Department, a convicted felon was arrested earlier in August after allegedly being found in possession of a gun, drugs and “thousands of pieces of mail”.

The image of the mail shared by authorities depicts what appear to be California ballots, presumably linked to the active recall election.

The Torrance Police Department wrote in the statement that officers responded to a male subject who was reportedly passed out inside of a vehicle at a local 7-11 parking lot on the evening of August 16th.

After police made contact with the unnamed suspect, they’d learned that he was a convicted felon and allegedly had Xanax pills on his person. Further investigating led to police finding in his vehicle “a loaded firearm, methamphetamine, thousands of pieces of mail, a scale & multiple CA drivers licenses and credit cards in other individuals’ names.”

The suspect was arrested under suspicion of forgery, narcotics, and weapons-related charges, but what has some concerned was the “thousands of pieces of mail” police reportedly found in the suspect’s possession.

A photo of the seized evidence shared by police depicted some of the mail found, which bears a striking resemblance to official Los Angeles County mail-in ballots that are being sent out for the recall election of Gavin Newsom.

Thousands of possible mail-in ballots seized during arrest - courtesy of Terrance Police and broadcast screenshot from CBS Los Angeles
Thousands of possible mail-in ballots seized during arrest – courtesy of Terrance Police and broadcast screenshot from CBS Los Angeles

While police officials have not confirmed whether the seized mail included official mail-in ballots, many online are speculating due to the image shared by the Terrance Police Department.

Now whether this is part of an elaborate scheme to specifically target mail-in ballots would be anyone’s guess at this point, since authorities haven’t released any additional information outside of the arrest, photo of seized evidence, and pending charges.

But since the suspect was allegedly in possession of narcotics – specifically methamphetamine – these chunks of mail he was reportedly found in possession of may simply be the consequence of stealing mail for other purposes.

Reports over the years have found that drug abuse, especially that of methamphetamines, is often accompanied by mail theft. Back in 2015, Greg Campbell, who was with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at the time, had a phrase that he said often rings true:

“I used to have a saying that I think still holds true that ‘where there’s meth, there’s mail’. There is a correlation between those who are on substance abuse and going out to do things to accommodate their habit.”

When methamphetamines come into the mix, mail theft is usually a means to employ eventual identity theft – so that credit cards can be opened, and the drug habit can be supported. The practice has become a severe problem over the past 15 years.

Just this past June, police in Davis, California arrested two women after they were allegedly found in possession of a firearm, 90 grams of methamphetamines, stolen mail, and credit/debit cards information as well as California EDD debit cards (used for disability and unemployment payments).

The August 16th matter is still being investigated by Torrance Police.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.

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Back in May, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report coming out of Washington, where a man police say is a serial mail thief seems to keep getting released from jail. 

Here’s that previous report. 

(Originally published May 4th, 2021)

SEATTLE, WA – A man who has been arrested numerous times for alleged mail theft in the Seattle area keeps getting released from jail, according to reports, while also having a knack for missing scheduled court dates as well.

The name Jason Turner is a name familiar with victims of mail theft, postal workers, police and, of course, prosecutors in Seattle.

Turner has reportedly been arrested at least seven times since January 7th of 2021, which these arrests are reportedly linked to instances of alleged mail theft. Yet, much to the frustration of locals and prosecutors, Turner keeps getting released from jail – often times within 48 hours of an arrest.

One of the arrests of Turner reportedly occurred on February 13th at a Home Depot parking lot on Delridge Way. Bodycam footage from the arrest reportedly showed Turner pulling out handfuls of mail from his pants after being confronted by the officer.

One of the officers at the scene stated:

“I already know your name: It’s Jason Turner…Is this your mail?”

Turner reportedly tried passing off the mail as belonging to his family members. The officer responded with:

“What’s your family members’ name?”

Turner, while pointing his finger at the address labels on the pieces of mail, stated:

“It’s just on there.”

Later on, during the interaction with the officer, Turner reportedly admitted that the mail did not belong to anyone in his family:

“I just took it…I really didn’t know whose it was. I just took them.”

When the officer stated to Turner that he’s “been doing this a lot,” Turner reportedly replied with:

“Right, I have.”

James Milgate, one of Turner’s alleged victims, stated that Turner would be spotted by locals almost daily trying to steal someone’s mail:

“We ended up [catching] this guy stealing mail every day.”

Milgate stated that their Ring camera wound up catching Turner in the act multiple times:

“Our Ring camera would go off and it would be the same guy.”

“I would call 911 every single day. Watching the same person do this every day, knowing where he lives, knowing his name and having it still happen is incredibly frustrating. Honestly, we debated whether we wanted to live here anymore.”

Jamie Lucero, another one of Turner’s alleged mail theft victims, said that Turner was well aware of being seen committing mail theft by his neighbors:

“He knew we were all watching him.”

A spokesperson for the King County prosecutor, Casey McNerthney, noted that their office has charged Turner “every time,” he winds up getting arrested for mail theft. US Postal Service Inspector John Weigand stated that “we are aware of Jason Turner,” when commenting on the matter.

Between the numerous arrests, court documents show that Turner has also failed to meet his specified court dates at least 15 times – on top of refusing to adhere to a court-ordered mental health evaluation.

McNerthney expressed frustration over his office having requested higher bail amounts for Turner, which have been unsuccessful:

“We’ve asked judges for a high bail for Mr. Turner because he keeps coming in and out. There was one case where we asked for a $10,000 bail and it was reduced to $750 and he bailed out on that one.

“The best we can do is go before a judge and say we think there is a high likelihood he’ll reoffend. Unfortunately, in each of those cases that’s been true.”

Rachel Klima, another local who has allegedly encountered Turner in the act, spoke of her interaction with the suspect when happening upon him trying to swipe a neighbor’s package on their doorstep. Video surveillance caught some of that interaction, where Klima could be heard yelling:

“Is this your house? That’s my neighbor’s house. I know them, you are not them.”

Klima referred to Turner’s alleged antics as “terrorizing” her community:

“I was really mad… He’s terrorizing the whole neighborhood and it’s just frustrating everybody.”

While local authorities have been handling these charges against Turner for these multiple cases, Turner’s alleged actions could also be addressed at the federal level. When Postal Inspector Weigand commented on why the feds haven’t inserted themselves into the proceedings, he stated:

“It kind of just comes up to the specific circumstances of that case itself.”

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Feds looking for suspects in armed robbery of mail truck in police-defunded Minneapolis

(Originally published July 16th, 2021)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Local police and federal investigators are working together to locate the suspects who reportedly robbed a mail truck during the afternoon of July 13th.

According to reports, the robbery of the mail truck happened within the 3000 block of North 4th Street in Minneapolis. The carrier that was inside of the mail truck at that time was reportedly not injured during the incident.

U.S. Postal Inspector Charlie Adams found the brazen robbery of the mail carrier inside of the truck to be particularly off putting and out of the norm for what they normally investigate in mail theft crimes:

“They are precious to our community because they are a part of our community because they are here every day. We get the packages stolen from porches and maybe somebody goes inside the trucks but I’ve never heard of a mail carrier being robbed.”

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service are still investigating the incident, noting that only the preliminary phase has been tackled as of this point. Seeing that instances of mail theft fall under the radar of federal authorities, federal investigators are leading the search for the suspects.

Officials say they’re looking for three black male suspects, two of which were caught on video. The two suspects caught on camera are believed to be anywhere between 16 to 20-years-old with thin builds, standing roughly 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall.

The vehicle that the suspects were driving during the incident was described as a silver Lincoln with tinted windows, a black sunroof and hub wheels.

Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact authorities, with officials saying there’s up to a $50,000 reward for tips that lead to an arrest and conviction for those responsible.

Those with details on the case can contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455 and reference case Number 3421717.

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