In a significant crackdown on mail theft in California’s Central Valley, three individuals have been apprehended for their alleged involvement in stealing mail from community mailboxes in two cities.

The incidents occurred in the Riverstone Community, located at the intersection of Highway 41 and Avenue 12, highlighting a growing concern over mail security, especially during the tax season when sensitive documents are frequently mailed.

Corporal Jordan Hunter of the Clovis Police Department pointed out the surge in mail theft reports during the first quarter of the year, a period marked by tax-related mailings. Clovis has seen a notable increase in such incidents, with 60 cases reported this year already, following a total of 284 cases last year, 111 of which were in the first quarter alone.

Gary Dishjian, 35, was arrested by Clovis police on Monday morning after being suspected of tampering with community mailboxes and attempting to conceal stolen mail and burglary tools in his vehicle. “Several pieces of mail, about a trash bag full of stolen mail located in the vehicle, along with burglary tools including counterfeit mailbox keys and also drug paraphernalia,” Corporal Hunter disclosed.

In collaboration with the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, Clovis police also detained Yer Vue, 41, and Amanda Lizarraga, 35, on charges of mail theft in the Riverstone community. Riverstone resident Sierra Scott shared her personal experiences with mail theft, including the loss of W-2 forms, a wedding gift, and a refund check, underscoring the personal impact of these crimes.

The suspects reportedly used shaved keys to access mailboxes without causing visible damage, often leaving victims unaware of the theft. Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue emphasized the stealth of these operations and recommended that residents sign up for the Postal Service’s Informed Delivery service to monitor expected mail.

Sheriff Pogue noted that both Lizarraga and Vue have previous records related to mail theft and identity theft, indicating a pattern of criminal behavior. Despite the arrests, residents like Sierra Scott remain cautious but hopeful that such crimes will decrease, sending a stern message to potential thieves about the risks and consequences of their actions.

The recent arrests serve as a reminder of the ongoing efforts by law enforcement agencies across the Central Valley to combat mail theft and protect the community’s mail integrity.

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