Two women and a man suspected of carrying out a wave of mail thefts and check frauds were arrested in Roseville last week thanks to a police undercover sting.
Plain-clothed Roseville police officers placed a package into a residential mailbox in the 400 block of North McCarrons Boulevard last Thursday afternoon, before staking out to see if anyone would bite.
It followed an uptick in reports of mail theft from the southeast corner of Roseville, and sure enough, a Toyota Camry pulled up a short time later, with a woman reaching out and taking the package before driving off.
Police caught up with the car a short time later, arresting a 32-year-old man, a 31-year-old woman and a 50-year-old woman, all from St. Paul.
It turns out, they may be responsible for quite a significant number of mail and package theft, as well as check fraud.
One of the suspects made the mistake of writing a journal entry titled, "Places to Hit Mailboxes," with St. Paul Park, Newport, Cottage Grove, and other cities along I-494.
There was also a reminder note to "learn the area for possible getaways."
In the center console of the car meanwhile, officers found a cup full of chemicals that was being used to remove ink from checks stolen from another residence.
Acetone, Clorox wipes and various colored pens were also recovered from the car, which is often used to remove ink from stolen checks to alter the payee and velues.
The trio have been linked to several other metro area theft cases, and since the U.S. Postal Inspector has started contacting those named on the mail, more than 20 victims have been identified.
Detectives thinks the three may have targeted other Roseville neighborhoods in recent weeks, and are asking residents with surveillance cameras to review their footage to see if a maroon Toyota Camry stopped in front of their homes.
The U.S. Postal Service is encouraging residents to enroll in its free Informed Delivery program, which is a notification service allowing people to preview the mail they're scheduled to receive.